IMF: Jamaica’s economic growth disappointing

13 Mar 18

Jamaica’s economic growth continues to “disappoint” despite its successful reform programme, the International Monetary Fund has said.

In its concluding statement following an official staff visit to Jamaica, the IMF said the country’s reform programme, which began in May 2013, had been a “turning point”, but growth and social outcomes had been “discouraging”.

The statement said: “Economic growth continues to disappoint, averaging only 0.9% since the reforms began.

“Entrenched structural obstacles, including crime, bureaucratic processes, insufficient labour force skills, and poor access to finance, continue to hinder productivity and growth. Moreover, the agricultural sector’s vulnerability to weather shocks exacerbated rural poverty in 2015.

“Not addressing these bottlenecks could pose risks for continued public support for the government’s policy programme.”

The review also said fiscal discipline had been essential to reduce public debt and secure stability and considerable progress was made on macroeconomic policies and outcome.

In 2016, it was announced that the Jamaican authorities continued “strong” implementation of the IMF’s requirements under the extended fund facility programme.

The reform programme, which aims to generate sustained economic growth and long-term development, includes reducing the public debt, maintaining macroeconomic stability, facilitating job creation and improving labour force productivity.

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