Jamaica Economic Forecast

Jamaica Economic Outlook

February 13, 2018

The economy is on the mend, with the Statistical Institute’s measure of the unemployment rate dipping in October to a nine-year low and down sharply from July. Labor market improvements were most marked for women, with female employment surging year-on-year. In addition, tourism numbers rose at a robust pace in 2017 thanks to a greater number of U.S. visitors. On the downside, the trade deficit widened significantly in the year to November despite strong export growth, due to greater fuel imports. At the end of January, Fitch Ratings revised its outlook on Jamaica’s long-term debt to positive, citing the ameliorating macroeconomic and fiscal positions. This comes after growth in Q3 strengthened thanks to the manufacturing and service sectors.

Jamaica Economic Growth

The recovery should gather pace this year due to international support, healthy global growth and positive spillovers from the government’s reform agenda. However, high public debt levels, pricier oil imports and a potential lack of progress on public-sector wage negotiations pose downside risks. Met the why particular panelists expect 1.9% growth in 2018, down 0.1 percentage points from last month’s forecast, and 2.3% in 2019.

Jamaica Economy Data

20122013201420152016
Population (million)2.82.82.82.82.8
GDP per capita (USD)5,3465,1284,9645,0684,958
GDP (USD bn)14.814.313.914.314.0
Economic Growth (GDP, annual variation in %)-0.60.50.71.01.4
Consumption (annual variation in %)-0.8-1.0-0.8-0.8-  
Investment (annual variation in %)-5.05.53.0-5.9-  
Unemployment Rate13.715.213.713.513.3
Fiscal Balance (% of GDP)-4.10.1-0.5-0.3-0.9
Public Debt (% of GDP)145111138120115
Money (annual variation in %)4.05.53.314.812.3
Inflation Rate (CPI, annual variation in %, eop)8.09.76.23.71.7
Inflation Rate (CPI, annual variation in %)6.99.48.33.72.4
Policy Interest Rate (%)6.255.755.755.255.00
Exchange Rate (vs USD)92.42116.1114.4120.0128.9
Exchange Rate (vs USD, aop)88.4299.9111.0116.7125.2
Current Account (% of GDP)-9.7-9.5-8.0-3.0-0.7
Current Account Balance (USD bn)-1.4-1.4-1.1-0.4-0.1
Trade Balance (USD billion)-4.6-4.7-4.4-3.7-3.5
Exports (USD billion)1.71.61.51.31.2
Imports (USD billion)6.36.25.85.04.7
Exports (annual variation in %)5.5-8.4-7.5-13.0-8.2
Imports (annual variation in %)-1.7-1.8-6.1-14.6-5.9
International Reserves (USD)2.01.82.52.93.3
External Debt (% of GDP)96.790.711199.0-  

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