Jamaica Passes 7th IMF Test

An International Monetary Fund Team now in the island has signalled that the country has passed its 7th consecutive test under the 4 year programme.

The latest IMF review was carried out between February 16 and today.

At the end of it, the IMF mission says the programme is on track and policy implementation remains strong.

It says all quantitative performance targets through to the end of December were met.

However, it say the target on tax revenue was narrowly missed.

The IMF mission team says it’s reached preliminary understandings with the government  on economic policies that will accelerate the pace of reforms to further unlock growth and bolster financial stability.

It says the government’s ‘resolute implementation’ of the economic programme is starting to yield tangible dividends.

It notes that there’s significant improvement in business and consumer confidence, which reached a two-year peak in September-December 2014.

It says confidence in Jamaica’s economic policies is growing, as shown by the narrowing sovereign bond spread relative to the emerging market average.

In a statement this afternoon, the IMF says its Executive Board is expected to consider the seventh review of the country’s programme in March.

The statement says upon approval, approximately 40 million US dollars would be made available to Jamaica.

The IMF mission team met with the Minister of Finance and Planning, Dr. Peter Phillips, Bank of Jamaica Governor Brian Wynter, Financial Secretary Devon Rowe, senior government officials, as well as representatives of the private sector and civil society.