Jamaica Economic Forecast

Jamaica Economic Outlook

May 15, 2018

Consumer confidence increased in Q1 2018 on the back of higher income expectations, underpinned by declining unemployment—which fell to a fresh multi-year low in January—and boding well for private consumption. Business sentiment, however, moderated somewhat on less optimistic views on the economy. Moreover, in February the trade deficit widened despite a jump in exports. Economic growth last year was lackluster, and Jamaica ranked among the slowest growing economies in the region for the sixth consecutive year, despite stronger macroeconomic fundamentals since it exited a recession in 2013. In a recent Article IV visit, the IMF praised Jamaica for improving its macroeconomic stability. It also stated, however, that the country needs to drastically reduce the size of its public sector payroll.

Jamaica Economic Growth

The economy is expected to accelerate this year, supported by a still-healthy global economy, sound labor market dynamics and a pick-up in fixed investment. The slow progress on public sector reforms cloud the outlook, however. Panelist expect GDP growth of 1.7% in 2018, which is unchanged from last month, and 2.1% in 2019.

Jamaica Economy Data

Population (million)
GDP per capita (USD)5,1284,9645,0684,958-  
GDP (USD bn)14.313.914.314.0-  
Economic Growth (GDP, annual variation in %)  
Consumption (annual variation in %)-1.0-0.8-0.8-  -  
Investment (annual variation in %)5.53.0-5.9-  -  
Unemployment Rate15.213.713.513.3-  
Fiscal Balance (% of GDP)0.1-0.5-0.3-0.9-  
Public Debt (% of GDP)111138120115-  
Money (annual variation in %)5.53.314.812.3-  
Inflation Rate (CPI, annual variation in %, eop)  
Inflation Rate (CPI, annual variation in %)  
Policy Interest Rate (%)5.755.755.255.00-  
Exchange Rate (vs USD)116.1114.4120.0128.9-  
Exchange Rate (vs USD, aop)99.9111.0116.7125.2-  
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)-4.7-4.4-3.7-3.5-  
Exports (USD billion)  
Imports (USD billion)  
Exports (annual variation in %)-8.4-7.5-13.0-8.2-  
Imports (annual variation in %)-1.8-6.1-14.6-5.9-  
International Reserves (USD)  
External Debt (% of GDP)90.711199.0-  -  

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