Patently Untrue!

Those are the words being used to describe utterances by Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller by political commentator, Kevin O’Brien Chang.

Mr. O’Brien Chang leveled the accusation in relation to what he says is the Prime Minister’s misrepresentation of the facts about the economy’s performance prior to the PNP taking office in 2012.

Speaking at the PNP’s 76th Annual Conference on Sunday, the Prime Minister said her administration inherited 14 consecutive quarters of negative economic growth from the previous JLP administration, when she took office in January 2012.

Nationwide News has been looking at the country’s economic performance over the past 10 years and files this fact finding report…..

That was Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller speaking at the PNP’s 76th Annual Conference on Sunday.

But, speaking on Nationwide@5 last evening, Mr. O’Brien Chang says the Prime Minister was not speaking the truth about the state of the economy she inherited from the previous JLP government.

Mr. O’Brien Chang says politicians must be held to book when they misrepresent facts, especially the country’s Prime Minister.

Nationwide News has been looking at the quarterly growth figures over the past ten years.

Prior to the JLP assuming office in September 2007, the Jamaican economy recorded 9 consecutive quarters of growth according to data provided by the Statistical Institute of Jamaica, STATIN.

These growth rates averaged 2.5% over the 9 quarters, and occurred when the global economy was at its highest point of growth in decades.

It was also just before the collapse of the US housing market and the ensuing worst global economic recession in nearly 80 years.

The JLP administration came into office at the onset of the global economic meltdown in September, 2007.

The JLP initially played down the effects of the recession on the Jamaican economy.

According to STATIN, the economy declined by zero-point-5 percent in the October to December quarter after the JLP came into office.

It then grew by 0.1% in the January to March quarter of 2008.

This was then followed by eleven, NOT 14, quarters of negative economic growth up to December 2010.

The next four quarters of 2011, the last year of the JLP administration, all recorded growth, producing an annual GDP growth rate of 1.4%.

Following the PNP’s general election win in December 2011, the economy recorded 6 quarters of negative economic growth, until an IMF programme was agreed and begun to be implemented.

Since that time, between the July and September quarter of 2013 and the same quarter of 2014, the economy has recorded four consecutive quarters of GDP growth.