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Jamaica’s Poverty Rate Declines

There has been a decline in the poverty rate in Jamaica.   The Jamaica Survey of Living Conditions 2016, tabled Tuesday in the House of Representatives, shows the prevalence of poverty was recorded at 17.1 per cent compared with 21.2 per cent in 2015.   It was the second decline since 2007.    The report says the decline in the poverty rate can be partly attributed to the increase in employment as well as Jamaica’s economic performance, as real gross domestic product (GDP) grew by 1.4 percentage points.   The report noted that some of the increase in employment would have been in connection with the general election, held in February 2016, which would also have stimulated consumption across the country.    In addition, the revised personal income tax threshold introduced in April 2016 led to increased levels of disposable income, which allowed for greater purchasing capacity.   Data for the 10 years between 2007 and 2016 revealed that the lowest level of poverty recorded was in 2007 at 9.9 per cent.   It was also the lowest level ever recorded since the publication of  the Jamaica Survey of Living Conditions.