Fifth IMF Test Passed

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The Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund says Jamaica has successfully navigated the fifth review of its economic performance, under the four year Extended Fund Facility programme.

The IMF says the completion of the review enables an immediate disbursement of 68-point-8-million US dollars to the Simpson Miller administration.

The IMF says Jamaica’s management of the programme is on track and that the country’s performance under the programme remains strong.

It says up to the end of June this year, all quantitative performance criteria, as well as the continuous quantitative program targets and structural benchmarks, were met.

The IMF says Jamaica is now beginning to see gains from its implementation of what it describes, as a demanding reform programme.

It notes that the country has recently regained market access, which will facilitate the raising of valuable financial resources.

It says the country’s external position has also strengthened, helped by gains in competitiveness.

The multilateral says earlier projections of a gradual pickup in economic activity, employment and a moderation of inflation, are all playing out.

However, it notes that these projections have been dampened in the near term by the effects of the recent drought.

According to the IMF, growth is projected to reach just over 1-percent for the 2014 to 2015 fiscal year.

The IMF is cautioning that downside risks to the programme, remain relatively high.

It says comprehensive and timely implementation of the government’s economic strategy, supported by the international community, should foster recovery, job creation and declining poverty.

It notes that a swift removal of regulatory and financial impediments to investment, would provide a much needed boost to growth and job creation.

The multilateral says the locking-in of the substantial gains from the fiscal consolidation, hinges on accelerating the modernization of the public sector.

It says it also hinges on enhancing the efficiency of public expenditure and strengthening revenue administration.

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