The International Monetary Fund, IMF, has reduced Jamaica’s expected growth forecast for this year by more than two percentage points.

In its latest economic outlook released this week, the IMF is predicting Jamaica will only grow by 1.5% down from the previous expectation of 3.6%.

The reduction has been blamed on the slower than expected recovery in tourism in the region due to the longer than expected length of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Jamaica suffered economic contraction of about 10-12% in 2020, its worst in recorded history due to the pandemic.

The slashed forecast lengthens the time expected for the country to return to pre COVID19 levels.

However, the pace of recovery is expected to pick up in 2022 where the country is expected to achieve nearly 6% growth for the year.

The year’s after the country is projected to to grow at a pace between 2-3% annually.