IMF Encouraged by Falling Unemployment

The IMF says it’s encouraging that Jamaica’s programme implementation remains strong while unemployment is falling and new jobs are being created.

However, the fund says economic growth in Jamaica remains vulnerable to adverse weather conditions. The IMF gave the assessment in a publication today by its western hemisphere department.

According to the Washington-based multilateral, there are sustained signs of economic activity in Jamaica but weather conditions could impact the extent to which the economy grows.

Apart from noting falling unemployment and increased job creation – the IMF says it’s encouraging that there’s vigorous activity in the services industry, along with the manufacturing and hotel sectors.

The IMF says it’s also encouraging that inflation and the current account deficit are low.

It says those indicators have been assisted by stable oil prices and the administration’s policy efforts.

According to the IMF, historically low yields in the recent global bond market reflect Jamaica’s hard-won credibility.

But on the downside, the IMF says weather shocks continue to be a drag on the economy and have led to a weaker outlook for this fiscal year.

But the multilateral says despite this, Jamaica’s performance on the program is commendable.

It notes that all performance criteria and benchmarks up to the end of June have been met.

The IMF says it also notes that the landmark public pension reform bill was passed by Parliament.

The Fund says based on Jamaica’s continued strong performance on the program and commitment to reforms, it’s staff mission team has recommended the completion of the second review.

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