Jamaica Economic Forecast

Jamaica Economic Outlook

July 10, 2018

The economy performed relatively well in Q1, with growth picking up to 1.4%. The print marked the best reading since Q4 2016 and is a further sign that the economy is gaining momentum following a weak H1 2017. The result in the first quarter was chiefly due to an upsurge in mining and quarrying activity following the resumption of production at the Alpart refinery in Q4 2017. In addition, the services sector greatly benefited from strong inflows of tourists. Following a staff visit in mid-June, the IMF applauded the progress made in implementing economic reforms, which has improved macro fundamentals and strongly reduced public debt.

Jamaica Economic Growth

Higher mining output and a healthy global backdrop should buttress the economy this year. In addition, lower unemployment is expected to spur private consumption, while a successful conclusion of public sector wage negotiations would free up government resources for growth-enhancing areas. Panelists expect GDP growth of 1.7% in 2018, which is down 0.1 percentage points from last month’s forecast, and 2.2% in 2019.

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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