Jamaica has passed the first review, under the Stand-By Arrangement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
The IMF says program implementation remains strong under the stand-by arrangement, with sustained positive g-d-p growth.
It says the re-balancing from direct to indirect taxes, which is accompanied by higher social expenditure, is expected to expand the revenue base to support growth-enhancing spending, which will create jobs and reduce poverty.
In a statement today (Apl 18), the IMF noted that the 36-month stand-by arrangement with a total access of about US 1.63 b was approved last November by the IMF’s executive board.
The Jamaican authorities continue to view the stand-by arrangement as precautionary, and to use it as an insurance policy against unforeseen external economic shocks that could lead to a balance of payments need.
The IMF says program implementation remains strong under the SBA, with sustained macroeconomic discipline and visible reforms, that have boosted stability and confidence.
The IMF points out that inflation reached an all-time low in 2016, and investor confidence is at an all-time high, attracting foreign direct investment.
The current account deficit has narrowed significantly, supporting accumulation in non-borrowed reserves.