KINGSTON: Jamaica’s economic performance has been lauded by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which has agreed to disburse US$39.7 million to the Caribbean nation.
The announcement from the IMF came after its Executive Board completed its ninth review of Jamaica’s economic performance under the program, which is supported by a four-year arrangement under the Extended Fund Facility (EFF).
Following the Board’s discussion of the review, Deputy Managing Director and Acting Chair Min Zhu said the program’s performance was “on track and structural reforms have progressed broadly on schedule”, adding that Jamaican authorities were firmly committed to the program.
“Macro-economic fundamentals continue to strengthen,” he said. “Inflation is at a historical low and the current account is improving, aided by declining oil prices. The recent upgrade in the credit ratings followed by the large international bond placement signaled improved investor confidence in Jamaica’s reform program.”
However, the IMF official stated that growth remains weak and unemployment needs to decrease further.
He said that sustained efforts in structural reforms, including by reducing energy costs, improving the business environment, and developing critical infrastructure, should help boost investment and growth.
Zhu said it was also essential to move forward with public sector reforms and to continue strengthening fiscal revenue by reforming customs and tax administration and broadening the tax base.