Credit ratings agency, Fitch, is endorsing Jamaica’s 2016/17 budget.
Fitch says under the new budget, fiscal policy remains broadly unchanged following February’s change of government.
The say the new government is expected to maintain a high primary surplus target, with the aim of reducing debt.
Fitch says they had upgraded Jamaica’s sovereign credit rating to B shortly before the election, to reflect the country’s strong performance under the IMF agreement.
They say although the new government’s policy stance is not identical to the previous PNP administration, there is greater emphasis on boosting growth.
This is evidenced by the creation of the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, as well as an Economic Growth Council.
However, Fitch says the “debt for nature” and “debt for assets” swaps featured in the budget, are unlikely to have a major impact on the debt burden in the short term.
This, as they note that “debt for nature” swaps would be limited to bilateral debt, which was just 4.4 percent of Jamaica’s total debt stock at the end of March.