Mon | Feb 17, 2020

Fitch upgrades Jamaica credit rating

Published:Thursday | February 27, 2014 | 12:00 AM

The Ministry of Finance is heralding the upgrade on its credit rating by Fitch, which said this week that it expects Jamaica to meet its 7.5 per cent primary surplus target.

Fitch has raised its credit rating for Jamaica from 'CCC' to 'B-' for long-term issuer default rating for foreign and local currency; the short-term foreign currency rating from 'C' to 'B' and the country ceiling from 'B-' to 'B'. The outlook was also upgraded to stable.

The Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica said it was encouraged by the development and congratulated the Government and Finance Minister Dr Peter Phillips on the "hard work" it took to raise the country's credit profile.

"... We must remain on this current economic programme, difficult as it may be, in order to ensure that the country's debt ratings continue to improve," said the PSOJ in statement Wednesday.

All the social partners must continue to work together to ensure that the economic programme remains on track, the PSOJ said.

Fitch said the new ratings were supported by reduced financing risks due to fiscal consolidation and the lengthening of domestic debt repayments, as well as the successful completion of two reviews under the International Monetary Fund (IMF) programme and the satisfaction of all the quantitative targets and structural benchmarks for the third review.

The rating agency expects the fiscal deficit will likely reduce as a result to around 0.4 per cent of GDP.

"The Government welcomes the positive rating action of Fitch Ratings and is committed to continuous improvement in Jamaica's fiscal and debt operations, thereby facilitating further economic recovery and positive growth," said the Finance Ministry.

Fitch's upgrade follows Moody's revision of its outlook on Jamaica to positive, last week.