Jamaica passes third IMF review

KINGSTON, Jamaica:

The IMF said Jamaica’s performance under the program has been positive overall. All end-September quantitative performance criteria were met. The Executive Board approved modifications of certain performance criteria, including a small relaxation of some fiscal targets to accommodate spending related to Tropical Storm Nicole and an increase in the floor on net international reserves.

“Overall performance under the Stand-By Arrangement has been satisfactory,” said Murilo Portugal, Deputy Managing Director and Acting Chair following the approval. “Signs of recovery have emerged, with net job creation for the first time in four quarters, and inflationary pressures remain subdued, allowing an accommodative monetary policy.”

Portugal said the authorities’ macro-economic program continues to focus on restoring fiscal sustainability and increasing the economy’s resilience to external shocks.

“Further progress is necessary on the fiscal and structural reform agenda. Enhancing competitiveness and the overall investment climate is key to boosting potential growth. Full implementation of the fiscal reform agenda will create fiscal space for contingency buffers and increased spending on social programs and growth-enhancing capital projects.”

The IMF’s Executive Board approved a 27-month SBA in an amount equivalent to US$1.27 billion on February 4, 2010.

The latest disbursement brings the money received so far under the arrangement to about US$838.2 million.

Jamaica has passed the third review of its economic performance under an International Monetary Fund (IMF) Stand-By Arrangement (SBA), enabling the immediate disbursement of about US$49.3 million.

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