Jamaica Economic Forecast

Jamaica Economic Outlook

August 7, 2018

Unemployment continued to fall year-on-year through April, which, coupled with robust tourist arrivals growth in recent months, bodes well for the Q2 GDP outturn. The trade deficit, however, widened in the January–May period, due to a higher oil import bill and despite strong export growth. On 20 July, Moody’s upgraded Jamaica’s credit rating outlook from stable to positive, citing ongoing fiscal consolidation efforts, which have lowered the debt-to-GDP ratio and the interest burden. Moreover, moving from direct to indirect taxation has widened the tax base and further improved the macroeconomic outlook.

Jamaica Economic Growth

Increased mining output and a robust global economy should drive growth this year. Moreover, private consumption is expected to benefit from falling unemployment, while public sector reforms should free up government resources. Panelists expect GDP growth of 1.6% in 2018, down 0.1 percentage points from last month’s forecast, and 2.3% in 2019.

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)141111121114114
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)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)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)90.711199.5110.0-  

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