Jamaica Economic Forecast

Jamaica Economic Outlook

December 4, 2018

After five years of sluggish growth, the Jamaican economy accelerated in the first half of the year, powered by the agricultural and extractive sectors. Coupled with the fact that the size of the workforce also shrank, unemployment reached its lowest rate in 12 years. In less positive news, in spite of strong export growth, the trade deficit widened in the first nine months of the year on a higher oil bill. In early November, the IMF completed its fourth review under the standby arrangement. Although the Fund applauded the government for improvements within the economy, it stressed the necessity for further reforms to facilitate private sector investment.

Jamaica Economic Growth

Private consumption, driven by a tightening labor market and robust tourism, should drive the economy next year. However, fiscal consolidation efforts from the government will likely drag on growth. Panelists expect the economy to grow 1.9% in 2019, which is unchanged from last month, 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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