IMF Programme Remains Strong with Sustained GDP Growth

The International Monetary Fund, IMF, says Jamaica’s implementation under the precautionary Stand-By Arrangement remains strong, with sustained positive GDP growth.

The IMF’s Executive Board last week completed the first review of Jamaica’s performance under the programme.

In a statement this morning, the IMF says Jamaica’s shift from direct to indirect taxes accompanied by higher social expenditure, is expected to expand the revenue base to support growth-enhancing spending.

This it says will create jobs and reduce poverty.

The IMF also lauded the Bank of Jamaica’s move to introduce a market-based exchange rate pricing mechanism.

The IMF says positive real GDP growth has been recorded in 7 consecutive quarters, and Jamaica is projected to grow by 2 percent in the 2017/18 financial year.

However, the IMF says decisive policy actions are required to improve public sector resource allocation and efficiency.

It says this must include reducing the government’s wage bill, strengthening budgetary controls, redefining the size of government, and lowering pension costs.

The IMF also says a broader effort to reduce the number of public bodies and improve their monitoring will enhance their governance and transparency, and reduce fiscal risks.