Jamaica Economic Forecast

Jamaica Economic Outlook

February 12, 2019

The economy likely performed well in the fourth quarter on the back of a solid tourism sector and a healthy labor market. In October, the unemployment rate declined in year-on-year terms, while employment increased, most notably among women, which should have supported private consumption. However, the labor-market improvement also came in part on the back of a decrease in the labor force, while youth unemployment, chiefly among males, remained high. Looking at the external sector, export revenue rose in the first 11 months of the year thanks to the extractive sector, although the trade deficit widened nonetheless in the same time frame on a higher oil import bill.

Jamaica Economic Growth

Healthy tourism activity should buttress the economy this year, although fiscal consolidation efforts will likely limit the expansion somewhat. Panelists expect the economy to grow 1.9% in 2019, which is unchanged from last month’s forecast, and 1.8% 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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