Tue | Sep 19, 2017

Editorial: The signal from Fitch

Published:Monday | February 15, 2016 | 2:00 AM

Whichever party forms the government after the general election, it is clear that Jamaica has little room for a fundamental shift in economic policy, lest it squander the sacrifices endured over the past four years to restore order to the country's fiscal accounts.

Latest evidence that the country, at least in this sphere, is broadly on the right track was delivered last week by the rating agency Fitch, upgrading Jamaica's domestic and foreign bonds from B- to B and declaring its medium-term outlook to be stable.

Fitch conceded that Jamaica's achievements in reducing its public debt to national output - by more than 20 percentage points - surpassed expectations, as well as noted the return of growth to the economy. Other rating agencies are likely to follow suit.

These things are not ends in themselves. Improved ratings help to improve investor confidence and lower borrowing costs, both of which are critical drivers of economic growth and job creation, which the country must now accelerate.