A delegation from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which was recently in Jamaica has expressed confidence in the country’s economic policies.
The delegation noted that the rate of unemployment in the country has declined.
In a statement, Mission Chief Jan Kees Martijn said there was significant improvement in business and consumer confidence, which reached a two-year peak in September-December 2014.
“Unemployment declined 0.7 percentage points from a year earlier to 14.2 percent in October 2014, and confidence in Jamaica’s economic policies is growing, as illustrated by the narrowing sovereign bond spread relative to the emerging market average,” said the IMF statement.
Martijn further said that the Government’s resolute implementation of its economic programme, cantered on strengthening the foundation for growth and employment, is starting to yield tangible dividends.
“Looking forward, inflation is expected to fall to around five percent, reflecting both declining oil prices and a reduction in macroeconomic imbalances. At the same time, growing confidence and improving competitiveness are projected to stimulate demand and increase economic activity to just over two percent in the Financial Year 2015/2016,” said the IMF statement.
The IMF statement further said that “the external position is strengthening, net international reserves remain well above program goals, and the current account balance is projected to improve through this year and next.”
The IMF delegation visited Jamaica from February 16-25 to conduct discussions on the seventh review of Jamaica’s IMF-supported programme under the Extended Fund Facility