The International Monetary Fund, IMF, says Jamaica’s economic recovery from the fallout caused by COVID-19 isn’t expected until the  2022/2023 fiscal year.

IMF Division Chief for the Western Hemisphere, Manuela Goretti, gave the projection this afternoon during a digital media briefing.

However, she says the IMF finds the social assistance measures provided by the government appropriate at this time.

The International Monetary Fund is predicting that the US economy, one of Jamaica’s major trading partners, will not return to net growth until the 2021/2022 financial year.

This, Ms. Goretti says will cause additional economic lag locally in Jamaica by an additional year.

The IMF says the principal risk facing Jamaica arises from the pandemic being more severe and long-lasting than is currently expected. 

It says the situation could evolve along a more adverse trajectory requiring additional actions and mitigation of the impacts on people’s livelihoods. 

To that effect, Ms. Goretti praised the implementation of the CARE programme by the government.

However, she warns there may  be the need for adjustments to the programme in the future.

The IMF previously approved 520 Million US dollars for the Jamaican Government’s COVID-19 response.

The funding is to be used to shore up Jamaica’s declining foreign exchange reserves.

Meanwhile, the IMF says the 520 Million US dollars approved for the Jamaican government can be used in the case of a hurricane.

As the country enters the hurricane season, Ms. Goretti says she hopes Jamaica doesn’t have to face the dual shock of a hurricane alongside COVID-19.

However, she believes the Jamaican government has taken the necessary precautions over the years towards resiliency.

Manuela Goretti, Division Chief for the Western Hemisphere of the International Monetary Fund.