Marto dismisses World Bank estimate as inaccurate
Finance Minister Michel Marto dismissed as inaccurate a recent World Bank estimate which projects a 2 percent economic growth rate this year, saying that national indicators expect a 4 percent growth.
“Our official estimates from the finance and planning ministries put the growth rate this year at 4 percent,” added Marto in an interview with the Arabic daily Al Ra'i.
While the minister said that the World Bank had the right to obtain its data from its sources, he maintained that “our official estimates are nearer to the country's realities.”
Last week, World Bank official Bassam Ramadan said in a workshop here that he expected Jordan's growth rate to drop to 2 percent in fiscal 2000.
He also stated that the abject poverty rate has reached 8 percent, and called for restructuring public expenditures with a view of targeting the social strata.
In August, a CBJ report maintained that the growth rate is expected to reach 3 percent while the inflation rate will remain under control.
The Central Bank of Jordan's (CBJ) 1999 report attributed the expected decline to the successive drought seasons that have affected the country over the past three years.
It found, however, that the GDP rose in that year by 1.6 percent compared to a 1.7 percent increase in 1998. It amounted to JD5.2 billion in 1999. — ( Jordan Times )
By Saad G. Hattar
© 2000 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)