Jamaica Meets Latest IMF Targets

Above: Kingston (CJ Photo)

By the Caribbean Journal staff

Jamaica met all of its quantitative performance targets and indicative targets for the end of December, according to the International Monetary Fund.

The IMF, which recently concluded a nine-day mission to Jamaica, said it had reached “preliminary understandings” with Jamaican authorities on a set of economic policies detailed in an updated letter of intent.

“Overall policy implementation under the program remains strong,” said Jan Kees Martijn, the fund’s mission chief for Jamaica. “All structural benchmarks to date have also been met. For 2014 and beyond, the critical challenge remains to support economic growth, while continuing to undertake the necessary fiscal adjustment.”

The fund said Jamaica’s economy had grown by about 1.4 percent year-over-year in the last quarter of 2013, while consumer price inflation had moderated to 9.7 percent in December.

It also said execution of Jamaica’s 2013/2014 budget had been “broadly on track, notwithstanding shortfalls in tax revenues owing to weak demand.”

The IMF mission’s visit included discussions with Finance Minister Dr Peter Phillips, Bank of Jamaica Governor Brian Wynter, Financial Secretary Devon Rowe, senior government officials and other members of the private sector and civil society.

The fund said the “preliminary understandings” with Jamaica were still subject to approval by the fund’s executive board.

If Jamaica continues its strong performance, the fund said, board consideration of the third review of Jamaica’s IMF-supported programme could take place next month.

If approved, it would make available around $71 million to Jamaica.