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Jamaica: Economic Headache As Recovery Task Force Teams Meet

Several committees of the Government’s Economic Recovery Task Force will this week meet for the first time as pressure grows on the Holness administration to reboot an economy stalled by a meltdown in commerce linked to COVID-19 restrictions.

The task force is a multisectoral task force to oversee Jamaica’s economic recovery from the Coronavirus (COVID-19).

A tough task lies ahead for the committee as figures published by two international agencies predict that the Jamaican economy will contract up to 5.6 per cent, according to forecasts by the International Monetary Fund.

And with heavy reliance on tourism as a foreign exchange earner, the uncertainty for the country is even more pronounced as many markets, including the United States and Canada, are still struggling to bring the coronavirus outbreak under control. Tourism players are bullish about ending restrictions in a month or so, The Gleaner understands.

Last week’s litany of prospective and announced lay-offs from major fast-food chains – with the popular brand Mother’s closing down for 30 days because of plunging sales – is believed to have added another wild revolution to an emotion roller-coaster that has left the Holness Cabinet torn: Does the Government gamble, as it telegraphed with the Length Man works project, with easing restrictions or face backlash if the pandemic worsens as cases mount?

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