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International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
This paper discusses Jamaica’s Request for Purchase Under the Rapid Financing Instrument (RFI). The Jamaican authorities have proactively responded to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Nevertheless, despite the authorities’ best efforts, the pandemic is severely impacting the Jamaican economy, as a sudden stop in tourism and falling remittances are generating a sizable balance-of-payments need. Moreover, the economic outlook remains subject to an unusually high degree of uncertainty. The disbursement under the RFI will strengthen reserves and help catalyze additional support from other international financial institutions and development partners. The authorities’ policy response to the COVID-19 crisis is appropriate, including the timely adoption of targeted measures to support jobs and provide resources to vulnerable segments of the population. Once the crisis abates, building on their demonstrated commitment to reform and stability-oriented measures, the authorities should continue the implementation of their ambitious reform agenda to support the economic recovery and ensure strong and sustainable economic growth.
International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
This paper discusses Jamaica’s Request for Stand By Arrangement (SBA) and Cancellation of the Current Extended Arrangement Under the Extended Fund Facility (EFF). Fiscal discipline and proactive debt management have helped reduce public debt by more than 25 percent of GDP since the start of the extended arrangement under the EFF. Macroeconomic stability is becoming entrenched as evidenced by low inflation, the buildup of foreign currency reserves, and a decline in the current account deficit. Important reforms are also being undertaken to unlock Jamaica’s growth potential. In view of the country’s recent track record and authorities’ commitment to reforms and maintaining an open dialog with the IMF, the IMF staff supports the request for the precautionary SBA.
International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
This paper discusses Jamaica’s Thirteenth Review Under the Arrangement Under the Extended Fund Facility. Program implementation is on track. The authorities’ continued commitment to the demanding reform program even in the fourth year of the IMF-supported program is commendable. All quantitative performance criteria to be completed by the end of June 2016, as well as the continuous quantitative program targets and structural benchmarks, have been met. Domestic confidence indicators are at an all-time high, and there are signs of improving economic activity, including agricultural recovery, strong performance in tourism and manufacturing, and stronger private sector credit growth. Higher growth dividends, more job creation, and improved living standards will be essential to continued social support for the reform agenda.
International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
Discussions centered on the preparations for the 2015/16 budget, and reforms to strengthen the financial sector and boost growth. The authorities have deepened their efforts in supporting their ambitious fiscal goals by strengthening public financial management and revenue administration, and they reiterated their resolve to continue containing the wage bill. Steps have also been identified to advance the reform of the securities dealers and to increase the resilience of the financial system.
International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Recent data show a gradual economic recovery, with growth projected to reach just over 1 percent in 2014/15. Inflation has trended down to about 8 percent. The program is on track. Jamaica’s four-year, SDR 615.38 million (225 percent of quota) Extended Arrangement under the EFF was approved by the IMF Executive Board on May 1, 2013, and the first four reviews under the program were completed on schedule. All end- June 2014 quantitative performance criteria were met. The structural benchmarks for end- June were also met. Based on the strong performance to date and the authorities’ updated policy intentions and commitments, staff recommends completion of the fifth review under the extended arrangement. Focus of the review. Discussions centered on the preparations for the 2015/16 budget and financial sector reforms. The program has been updated, with steps to support the ambitious fiscal goals by strengthening tax administration, enhancing public financial management, and containing the civil service wage bill. Further steps have been articulated to move ahead the reform of the securities dealers sector and to strengthen the financial system more broadly. Progress in implementing the authorities’ program is steadily advancing with every successful review, but risks to the program remain relatively high. A delayed growth recovery could undermine social support for the reform efforts, financial sector vulnerabilities could become more pressing, or risks to external financing (including from PetroCaribe) could crystallize. A further challenge will be to keep the budget on track in the face of risks to revenues and the wage bill.
International Monetary Fund
Economic developments and growth of Jamaica are discussed in this paper. Despite the good performance under the program through end-September, mounting spending pressures and delays in some fiscal reforms have required the adoption of corrective measures by the authorities. The authorities concurred with IMF staff that the potential spending overruns reflected weaknesses in expenditure management that needed to be urgently addressed. To offset the expenditure overruns, the government has adopted a number of compensatory measures.
International Monetary Fund
Economic activity is weak, but showing incipient signs of a recovery. Domestic financial markets remain stable and the growth outlook has improved. Better prospects for agriculture, mining and quarrying, and construction are expected to increase growth. Macroeconomic performance under the program continues to be positive. Jamaica has taken advantage of the favorable market conditions to ease monetary conditions and build international reserves, and continues to demonstrate a strong commitment to the program. The financial sector has weathered well the impact of the debt exchange.
International Monetary Fund
This paper reviews the Interim Staff Report Under Intensified Surveillance for Jamaica. The authorities have reaffirmed their objective of balancing the budget in FY 2005/06, while recognizing that this now poses a greater challenge. The IMF staff now estimates that measures in the range of 2.5–3.0 percent of GDP would be required to meet this goal, compared with the IMF staff’s estimate of 1.7 percent of GDP at the time of the 2004 Article IV consultation. The room to maneuver in monetary and exchange rate policy remains constrained by the debt overhang.
Mr. George A Mackenzie and Mr. Peter Stella

Abstract

Central banks and other public financial institutions act as agents of fiscal policy in many countries. Their "quasi-fiscal" operations and activities can affect the overall public sector balance without affecting the budget deficit as conventionally measured, may also have important allocative effects, and increase the effective size of the public sector. This paper analyzes the macroeconomic and financial effects of such quasi-fiscal activities, as well as the taxes, subsidies, and other expenditures that such activities introduce outside the budget. Measurement and accounting issues are addressed, and policy recommendations are offered.

Mr. Dewitt D Marston
This paper reviews the Jamaican experience with indirect instruments and contrasts this with the currency board type arrangements of the common currency area governed by the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB). Reforms in Jamaica improved intermediation and banking efficiency, but a weak fiscal position and interest rate caps undermined the effectiveness of indirect instruments in attaining monetary control. The apparent stability amongst members of the currency union may mask fiscal pressures. In most Caribbean countries, problems of quasi-fiscal pressures on money supply, and disintermediation due to some regulation, are evident. Resolving these issues are necessary to facilitate the reforms being pursued.