Jamaica set to pass fifth IMF test
Gary Spaulding, Senior Gleaner Writer
The signal was made clear today that Jamaica is well set to pass its fifth consecutive International Monetray Fund (IMF) test, since it hammered out the latest Extended Fund Facility.
After the thumbs up by the IMF Mission, the Board is scheduled to give its stamp of approval by next month after which Jamaica will be able to draw down US$71 million in Special Drawing Rights.
Speaking on the conclusion of the fifth review of the programme, IMF Mission Chief for Jamaica Jan Kees Martijn disclosed, ahead of his departure, that Jamaica's programme, being advanced by Finance Minister Dr Peter Phillips and his team, remains on track.
Martijn said Jamaica's economic outlook continues to improve with activities expanding in the region of 1.2 per cent between April and June 20014.
"Overall policy implementation under the programme remains strong," said Martijn. "All quantitative performance indicative targets and structural benchmarks for June were met."
Martijn said the IMF mission has reached preliminary understandings with the authorities on economic policies, details in updated letters of Intent.
For his part, Phillips noted that economic performance has been consistent, with the programme and structural reforms continuing to progress.
"Fiscal performance continues to support the debt-reduction objective, the external accounts are improving and economic growth is continuing, accompanied by steady growth in employment," said Phillips.
Like Martijn, Phillips pointed to the meeting of all quantitative fiscal and monetary performance criteria under the programme.
He highlighted that the Government has also implemented all the structural benchmarks.
"The Government and Fund staff concurred that boosting growth requires steadfast implementation of the fiscal and other structural reforms," said Phillips.
"These reforms, along with the implementation of major catalytic projects are important to boosting consumer confidence," he added.
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