Jamaica’s Elusive Growth Remains ‘Puzzling’ for IMF

The IMF’s Managing Director, Christine Lagarde, says it’s a “puzzle” why growth has continued to elude several countries including Jamaica that have pursued key economic reforms.

Ms. Lagarde is in Jamaica for the IMF High-Level Caribbean Forum, taking place at the Pegasus Hotel in Kingston.

On paper, Jamaica has been doing everything right lately—passing key economic reforms, maintaining a high primary surplus, and lowering debt to GDP, among other things. But significant economic growth remains elusive.

The IMF Managing Director, Christine Lagarde, says it’s puzzling.

Former Guyanese President, Bharrat Jagdeo, says he’s bothered by Ms. Lagarde’s remark. He says he believes growth has eluded the Region because the prescription for small island states is wrong.

The argument is buttressed by an observation from St. Martin’s Finance Minister, Richard Gibson.

He says his country’s experience demonstrates low growth is not necessarily the result of high debt.

Jagdeo and Gibson’s comments came in a discussion well after Ms. Lagarde’s presentation this morning, in which she maintained that Jamaica is on the right path and that the naysayers have been proven wrong.

The IMF will be launching a book on Friday, titled “Unleashing Growth and Strengthening Resilience in the Caribbean”.