Member of the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica, PSOJ’s, Economic Policy Committee, Dr. Adrian Stokes, says growth in the economy should be prioritised at this time.

He’s challenging the need of the Central Bank to hike interest rates at this time to tackle inflation.

The Central Bank, over the last two months, has increased its policy rate by 150 basis points to a rate of 2 per cent.

It’s moving to bring inflation back in line with its target range of 4 to 6 per cent.

Current point-to-point inflation sits at 8.5 per cent. It’s being driven by supply chain issues and rising global commodity prices. This inflationary pressure has already resulted in rising food prices locally.

However, Dr. Stokes contends that this issue is being driven by mainly external factors that adjusting local interest rates will not solve.

Dr. Stokes says the decision will hurt economic development while doing very little to bring globally driven inflation.

Dr. Adrian Stokes, Member of the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica, PSOJ’s, Economic Policy Committee.