Jamaica Economic Forecast

Jamaica Economic Outlook

October 9, 2018

Data confirmed that economic growth accelerated in Q2 thanks to double-digit expansions in the agriculture, and mining and quarrying sectors. Favorable weather conditions and government aid supported agriculture while the resumption of operations at the Alpart refinery boosted the mining sector. In addition, the government posted a fiscal surplus in Q2, outperforming the target for a balanced budget. Looking at Q3, tourist arrivals expanded robustly in July-August but the merchandise trade deficit widened substantially through July. In September, the IMF concluded the fourth review of the standby arrangement and praised the government’s reform progress. Approval by the Executive Board in November would unlock around USD 226 million in funding.

Jamaica Economic Growth

Robust global economic growth and a slight pick-up in private consumption owing to lower unemployment should buttress the economy next year. However, constrained government spending will drag on activity. Panelists expect GDP growth of 1.7% in 2018 and 2.1% in 2019, down 0.1 percentage points from last month’s forecast.

Jamaica Economy Data

Population (million)
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 %)
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)141111121114114
Money (annual variation in %)4.24.414.511.929.1
Inflation Rate (CPI, annual variation in %, eop)
Inflation Rate (CPI, annual variation in %)
Policy Interest Rate (%)
Exchange Rate (vs USD)116.1114.4120.0128.9124.5
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)  
Imports (USD billion)  
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)
External Debt (% of GDP)90.711199.5110.0-  

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