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Jamaica: A Strategy for Growth and Poverty Reduction: Country Economic Memorandum

Jamaica FY94 PA

Full Report (14.2Mb PDF)

Jamaica now has a long-awaited breathing space in which to sustain and complete the structural reforms necessary to restore growth and reduce poverty. For the first time in almost a decade, the country does not face a major financial crisis, macroeconomic imbalance, or negative external shock. Per capita income has slowly started to grow over the past few years, with more than proportional effects in reducing poverty. Recent policy measures warrants optimism, but not contentment. The government needs to continue with its planned reforms, particularly of the public sector, and to sustain the achievements already made. Three problems stand out in Jamaica ' s economic experience with growth since independence. First, growth has been too slow on average and too often negative. Second, it was achieved very inefficiently in the sense that Jamaica borrowed and invested a lot, forgoing welfare in the past and future without the commensurate results. Third, growth has only recently started to break down the economic dualism that Jamaica shares with many other developing countries. Growth in the enclaves of the formal sector still does not draw enough labor and material inputs from the informal sectors.

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