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International Monetary Fund

This paper focuses on the 2002 Article IV Consultation and a New Staff-Monitored Program (SMP) for Jamaica. In June 2000, the Jamaican authorities undertook an SMP for FY2000/01–2001/02 designed to tackle the heavy public sector burden and restore economic growth. To build on the progress achieved so far, the government has requested a new SMP for FY2002/03. The objectives of the program are to consolidate gains in macroeconomic stabilization and adjustment achieved to date and to lay the foundations for sustainable, strong economic growth that would further reduce poverty.

International Monetary Fund

Jamaica has achieved considerable success in reducing inflation, restructuring the financial system after the crisis in 1995–96, and further liberalizing the economy through tariff reduction and privatization. The government is urged to strengthen its efforts to put the economy on a less vulnerable path by a stronger fiscal adjustment supported by wage restraint, a more market-determined exchange rate, and an acceleration of structural reforms. The significant progress in structural reform made over recent years as well as the government’s determination to continue is commendable.

International Monetary Fund

This 2005 Article IV Consultation highlights that the economic activity in Jamaica has been adversely affected by shocks. Real GDP contracted sharply in late 2004 following the devastating effects of Hurricane Ivan. Thereafter, while output recovered, it was dampened by the poor performance of agriculture, which suffered from adverse weather conditions. The nominal exchange rate has depreciated in recent months. Fiscal targets have been missed, and the monetary policy has been geared at containing inflation while also seeking to engender a sustainable reduction in interest rates.

International Monetary Fund

This 2007 Article IV Consultation highlights that Jamaica’s economy is estimated to have achieved its best growth performance in over a decade during FY2006/07, which ended on March 31, 2007. Notwithstanding some recent moderation of momentum, the economy is estimated to have expanded by just below 3 percent in real terms, up from 2 percent the previous year and 0.4 percent the year before. Monetary policy remains focused on containing inflation while seeking to engender a sustainable reduction in interest rates.

International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.

2018 Article IV Consultation, Third Review Under the Stand-By Arrangement and Request for Modification of Performance Criteria-Press Release and Staff Report

International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
Jamaica was hit hard by the pandemic. An early lockdown in the Spring of 2020 helped contain the number of Covid-19 cases but the impact on the economy was severe, with real GDP shrinking by 10 percent. To counter the social and economic effects of the pandemic, the government temporarily reduced the fiscal balance target from +0.7 to -3 percent of GDP, increased spending on health and social protection and reduced the VAT rate. The central bank injected liquidity and encouraged loan moratoria to provide temporary support to the private sector. Growth is expected to rebound to 4.7 percent in 2021 and 4.3 percent in 2022. Downside risks to the outlook are significant, notably from Covid-19.
International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.

1. Jamaica has a long history of macro-economic instability and low growth. GDP per capita is lower today than it was in 1970, partly the result of repeated fiscal, BOP and/or banking crises (Box 1). However, even during expansions and calmer times growth has been low: between 1994 and 2019 GDP growth exceeded 2 percent only twice.

International Monetary Fund

The principal problems facing the Jamaican economy are the extremely heavy burden of public sector debt, low growth, and the legacy of earlier periods of high inflation. The government has implemented several improvements in its debt management strategy. Fiscal restraint has been reinforced by tight monetary policy. Exchange rate stability has succeeded in lowering domestic inflation. The legislative framework strengthens prudential supervision of both banks and other financial institutions to limit the risks of any further financial crisis. Measures to strengthen the regulatory framework are required.

International Monetary Fund

The principal problems facing the Jamaican economy are the extremely heavy burden of public sector debt, low growth, and the legacy of earlier periods of high inflation. The government has implemented several improvements in its debt management strategy. Fiscal restraint has been reinforced by tight monetary policy. Exchange rate stability has succeeded in lowering domestic inflation. The legislative framework strengthens prudential supervision of both banks and other financial institutions to limit the risks of any further financial crisis. Measures to strengthen the regulatory framework are required.

International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

The Trinidad and Tobago economy is the largest among member countries of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), with a gross domestic product in 2000 of almost $8 billion.