IN 1976 the Bank of Jamaica (BOJ) ran entirely out of foreign exchange, leaving the Net International Reserves (NIR) balance at zero. There was no foreign exchange to buy oil to provide the country with electricity and gasoline — key sources of energy. No money to buy medicine and other vital supplies for the health sector, to purchase basic food supplies…
After four decades of little or no growth, the Jamaican economy is expected to grow at 1-2% over the medium term. The country is confronted by serious social issues that predominantly affect youth, such as high levels of crime and violence and high unemployment.
- Jamaica has made good progress under previous IMF-supported program
- More growth, jobs still needed
- New IMF loan to also provide insurance against unexpected shocks
- Jamaica’s reforms beginning to bear fruit but growth still too low
- Fiscal discipline crucial to restore economic stability
- Focus on growth-enhancing structural reforms