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Banking strategist says government should loosen monetary policy

Published:Thursday | April 17, 2014 | 12:31 PM

Monique Grange, Assistant News Editor - Radio

Financial Commentator Dr Adrian Stokes says he wants to hear from the Finance Minister this afternoon, what will be the clear policy direction that will get the country above the current run-rate for growth beginning this year.

The Finance Minister, Dr Peter Phillips is to tell the country how the government will finance the $539.3 billion Budget tabled for this fiscal year.

Dr Stokes, who is the Group Strategist at ScotiaBank believes the government must work towards loosening the monetary policy and fast track the implementation of planned reforms.

He points out that projects such as the development of Goat Islands will not move growth in the near term but are likely to results in an immediate deterioration in the current account.

The Finance Minister has already said there’s no plan for additional taxation but there will be tax reforms.

During his presentation he is also expected to tell Jamaicans what the Government plans to do in relation to the high unemployment levels, the worrying, continued slippage of the Jamaican dollar and the marginal growth in the economy.

Dr Phillips is also expected to announce that the Government has closed the just concluded 2013/2014 fiscal year with a passing grade in another International Monetary Fund (IMF) test.

The Government had projected to reduce the debt-to-GDP ratio at the end of March 2014 to about 139 per cent moving from 147 per cent before the IMF agreement was inked.

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