Sunday 16 June, 2019

Vaz believes economic growth higher than PIOJ figures suggest

Daryl Vaz

Daryl Vaz

Minister without portfolio with responsibility for Economic Growth, Daryl Vaz doesn’t agree with recent economic growth estimates released by the Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ).

The PIOJ indicated that the Jamaican economy grew by an estimated 1.2 per cent during the January to March 2018 quarter compared with the corresponding quarter of 2017. But, Vaz is of the view that the figure should be higher.

"Ladies and gentlemen, that area of growth is a complex area because when you look at the PIOJ figures and you look at what is happening as you drive around Jamaica, there is a vast contrast,” he stated at the Jamaica Investment Forum, at the Montego Bay Convention Centre in St James on Thursday.

For instance, he noted that the buzzing construction industry alone is testament that the economy is experiencing real growth.

“When you look at cement sales and steel sales and compare them to last year's figures, you say something is happening that is not being reflected.  From my prospective I see real growth and fast growth happening in Jamaica," Vaz said.

"I had the pleasure of going to Singapore last year …and I remember, in one of the meetings, a Minister from Singapore said to me, ‘Minister Vaz the way you know that your country is growing is by the cranes in and around the city’," he said.

He described the development currently underway in the Corporate Area as “unprecedented”.

"I had the opportunity to go on a high rising building just yesterday and  I counted eight (cranes) in Kingston and St Andrew alone. Unprecedented in the history of Jamaica and I am sure Montego Bay and other areas have a few.  So, if that is any indication, it means that we are on the right path," he said.

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