Jamaica Economic Forecast

Jamaica Economic Outlook

April 9, 2019

Economic growth inched up in Q4 2018 to round off a strong year during which the Jamaican economy grew at the fastest pace in 12 years. The services sector and manufacturing activity drove the quarterly acceleration, with the hotels and restaurants subsector posting a robust pace of expansion despite weak tourist arrivals in the quarter. Looking at Q1 2019, tourist arrivals jumped in January–February, boding well for private consumption in the quarter. In early March, the IMF applauded the government’s reform commitment and saw improvements in public debt dynamics. The Fund also gave a nod of approval to the government’s JMD 14 billion tax cut, effective 1 April, which followed the expansion of the country’s tax base.

Jamaica Economic Growth

Jamaica’s economy is expected to continue growing at a relatively modest rate this year. The government’s tax cut, which could spur economic activity, provides an upside risk to economic growth. On the other hand, the ongoing fiscal consolidation efforts overall could limit the overall expansion. The panel sees the economy growing 1.8% in 2019, unchanged from last month’s forecast, and 1.7% in 2020.

Jamaica Economy Data

20132014201520162017
Population (million)2.82.82.82.82.8
GDP per capita (USD)5,1284,9655,0424,9695,178
GDP (USD bn)14.313.914.214.114.7
Economic Growth (GDP, annual variation in %)0.50.70.91.40.5
Consumption (annual variation in %)-1.0-0.8-0.5-0.2-  
Investment (annual variation in %)5.53.0-5.00.4-  
Unemployment Rate15.313.713.513.213.0
Fiscal Balance (% of GDP)0.1-0.5-0.3-0.20.1
Public Debt (% of GDP)141140121114104
Money (annual variation in %)4.24.414.511.929.1
Inflation Rate (CPI, annual variation in %, eop)9.76.23.71.75.2
Inflation Rate (CPI, annual variation in %)9.48.33.72.34.4
Policy Interest Rate (%)0.250.250.253.003.25
Exchange Rate (vs USD)106.1114.4120.0128.9124.5
Exchange Rate (vs USD, aop)99.9111.0116.7125.2128.3
Current Account (% of GDP)-9.5-8.0-3.0-0.7-  
Current Account Balance (USD bn)-1.4-1.1-0.4-0.1-  
Trade Balance (USD billion)-4.6-4.4-3.7-3.6-  
Exports (USD billion)1.61.51.31.2-  
Imports (USD billion)6.25.85.04.8-  
Exports (annual variation in %)-8.4-7.5-13.0-4.8-  
Imports (annual variation in %)-1.8-6.1-14.4-4.5-  
International Reserves (USD)1.82.52.93.33.8
External Debt (% of GDP)90.710199.5100.0-  

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