For the past decades, Jamaica has been in a downward economic spiral and the trend continues year after year. Looking back 30 years, real per capita GDP averaged only one per cent, making Jamaica one of the slowest-growing developing countries in the world.
We are at a debt-to-GDP ratio of 138.9 per cent, ranking us among the highest in the world. The national unemployment rate of Jamaica is 13.4 per cent compared to 5.5 per cent in the US. Unemployment among the youth is twice the national rate, according to the latest World Bank report. The poverty rate has increased by eight per cent in a few years.
The GDP growth rate for Jamaica is -1.8 per cent in the last quarter of 2014 compared to +2.2 per cent in the USA in the same period. This is close to the 10-year low of -1.9 per cent. The austerity measures imposed by the IMF are seriously affecting many essential services; especially health, education and social services.
We need to get out of this depressing economic hole which we have fallen into.