Jamaica Economic Forecast

Jamaica Economic Outlook

December 7, 2017

The economy is slowly on the mend, and received a boost in mid-November when the Inter-American Development Bank announced a USD 160 million loan to boost the efficiency of Jamaica’s public sector. This came after the IMF recently urged the country to reduce the size of the state to ensure fiscal sustainability and free up resources for greater investment in growth-enhancing areas. Wage negotiations between the government and unions continue to rumble on, and in November the country’s nurses staged a two-day strike over the pay offer currently on the table. Growth in Q2 picked up marginally from the prior quarter but was held back by weak agricultural and mining sectors, while the unemployment rate dipped markedly year-on-year in July.

Jamaica Economic Growth

GDP growth is expected to pick up next year thanks to ongoing international support, a strengthening global economy and positive spillovers from the government’s reform agenda. FocusEconomics panelists expect the economy to expand 2.2% in 2018, which is unchanged from last month’s forecast, and 2.4% in 2019.

Jamaica Economy Data

Population (million)
GDP per capita (USD)5,3465,1284,9645,0684,958
GDP (USD bn)14.814.313.914.314.0
Economic Growth (GDP, annual variation in %)-
Consumption (annual variation in %)-0.8-1.0-0.8-0.8-  
Investment (annual variation in %)-  
Unemployment Rate13.715.213.713.513.3
Fiscal Balance (% of GDP)-4.10.1-0.5-0.3-0.9
Public Debt (% of GDP)145140138120115
Money (annual variation in %)
Inflation Rate (CPI, annual variation in %, eop)
Inflation Rate (CPI, annual variation in %)
Policy Interest Rate (%)6.255.755.755.255.00
Exchange Rate (vs USD)92.42106.1114.4120.0128.9
Exchange Rate (vs USD, aop)88.4299.9111.0116.7125.2
Current Account (% of GDP)-9.7-9.5-8.0-3.0-0.7
Current Account Balance (USD bn)-1.4-1.4-1.1-0.4-0.1
Trade Balance (USD billion)-4.6-4.7-4.4-3.7-3.5
Exports (USD billion)
Imports (USD billion)
Exports (annual variation in %)5.5-8.4-7.5-13.0-8.2
Imports (annual variation in %)-1.7-1.8-6.1-14.6-5.9
International Reserves (USD)
External Debt (% of GDP)96.790.710199.0-  

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