IMF Executive Board conclude fifth review

The IMF concluded the fifth and penultimate review of Jamaica’s performance under the Precautionary Standby Arrangement.

Strong implementation of the reform program continues. After commendable performance under two successive Fund arrangements since May 2013, Jamaica’s public debt is projected to fall below 100 percent of GDP for the first time since FY2000/01—to 98.7 percent of GDP in FY 2018/19. Unemployment is near all-time lows, business confidence is high, and the economy is estimated to have expanded by 1.8 percent in 2018, buoyed by mining, construction and agriculture. International reserves are estimated to be comfortable under a more flexible exchange rate. All quantitative performance criteria at end-December 2018 were met, and the structural benchmark to table in Parliament amendments to the Bank of Jamaica (BOJ) Act was completed in October 2018. In December 2018, however, inflation was 2.4 percent, triggering staff consultation under the Monetary Policy Consultation Clause; it remained at the same level in February 2019.