Tue | Sep 26, 2017

First test under SBA in March

Published:Wednesday | November 23, 2016 | 11:00 AM

The first review of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Standby Agreement (SBA) with Jamaica will be based on the quantitative performance criteria for the end of December 2016.

The IMF is moving from quarterly reviews under the previous Extended Fund Facility to six-monthly binding performance targets under the SBA.

However, in the intermediate quarters, the Fund has set indicative targets "to sort of guide where policy should be going in order to meet targets for the next review," Mission Chief to Jamaica, Uma Ramakrishnan, said last week.

Under the 36-month SBA, which was approved on November 11, the test date for the six-monthly reviews are to be undertaken at the end of December and end of June, she said.

The first review will be based on the December 2016 out-turn for all the variables. "So the first review that we will take to the board will be based on that target" and the executive board could make its decision in March or April of 2017, Ramakrishnan said.

An IMF review mission is therefore expected to come to Jamaica for the first assessment under the SBA sometime in February or early March 2017.

Subsequent to that, the next test date will be for end of June 2017 and the follow-up mission for that will come six weeks after that, or about mid to late August.

business@gleanerjm.com