Economist and member of the Economic Programme Oversight Committee (EPOC), Ralston Hyman, says the strategy of devaluing the local dollar to boost exports is not working.


He says despite significant depreciation in the local currency, exports have declined by more than 30%.



Mr. Hyman says high energy and security costs, bureaucratic processes and low levels of productivity are hampering growth in exports.


He says depreciation without an increase in the volume of exports will not help the country.


He says the focus should be on measures to boost production.



Ralston Hyman, Economist and member of EPOC, speaking this afternoon with Nationwide News.


Mr. Hyman is also suggesting that the government makes greater use of a micro-economic approach.


According to Hyman, Opposition Spokesman on Finance, Audley Shaw is correct in anticipating that the exchange rate will reach Jamaican 1-hundred-and-20 dollars to 1 US dollar.



Mr. Shaw has warned Jamaicans to brace for more price increases as a result of the continued devaluation of the dollar.


According to Mr. Shaw this will almost certainly be the reality, given that the government and the IMF appear to have reached an agreement to allow the Jamaican dollar to slide to 1-hundred-and-20 to 1-US dollar.


Mr. Shaw made the comments during a media briefing at the office of the Leader of the Opposition in St. Andrew on Monday.


The local currency began trading his morning at 1-hundred-and-11-dollars-24-cents to 1-US dollar.


Mr. Shaw says he has credible reasons to be concerned that the IMF may well be prepared to allow the Jamaica dollar to slide further.



Audley Shaw, opposition spokesman on finance.