Following its meeting on September 7, the Economic Programme Oversight Committee (EPOC) is reporting a favourable performance under the Precautionary Standby Arrangement (PBSA) with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) up to the end of July 2017.
IMF June Review
The IMF is now in Jamaica conducting the June review, their second review under the PBSA which was initiated in November 2016.
The Government of Jamaica (GOJ) has met all the macro fiscal structural Benchmarks and the (9) structural benchmarks for public sector transformation, public bodies and public service reform through the end of August 2017.
Structural benchmarks are key initiatives that the GOJ should complete by established deadlines under the PSBA.
Fiscal Performance Highlights
Tax Revenues were J$153.6 billion which exceeded the budgeted target of J$148.2 billion by J$5.5 billion for the period April to July 2017.
EPOC’s September Communiqué notes Recurrent Expenditure was below the budgeted spend as of the end of July, falling below budget by J$6 billion for the first four months of the fiscal year. Capital expenditure was behind the budget target by J$800 million. These numbers are primarily driven by the timing of expenditures, EPOC notes, adding that it will continue to monitor these important indicators.
As a result of the Revenues and Expenditure reports, EPOC points to the Government’s Primary Surplus of J$30.6 billion for the June review. This is J$15.6 billion ahead of the J$15 billion target agreed with the IMF. Moreover, the Primary Surplus increased to J$38.56 billion at the end of July – $9.5 billion ahead of the Government’s target of $29 billion.
The Non-Borrowed International Reserves at the end of June was US$ 1.82 billion against the programme target of US$ 1.52 billion.
As at the end of July, the Non-Borrowed Reserves increased to US$ 2.026 billion.
At the end of June, inflation stood at 4.4 percent, well within the programme target range.
“We are comfortable based on the information available to us that the second IMF review should be successful,” says EPOC’s Co-Chair Keith Duncan. “We also wish to acknowledge the efforts of stakeholders in keeping Jamaica on track on its achievements to date in its Economic Programme. This is Jamaica’s programme.”