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Jamaica gets 'strong' ratings from IMF, end-September targets met

Published:Wednesday | November 13, 2013 | 5:52 PM

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) says Jamaica’s overall policy implementation of targets under the extended fund facility is strong.



The IMF has confirmed that all quantitative performance targets and indicative targets for end-September were met.



It further says all structural benchmarks to date have also been met in a timely manner, with the exception of the tabling of fiscal incentives legislation, which was subject to a minor delay.



The Fund recently concluded a performance review of Jamaica’s programme.



In a statement the IMF points out that economic activity is tentatively estimated to have expanded in the July to September quarter by about 0.9 per cent year-on-year, while consumer price inflation increased to 10.5 per cent in September.



It further says that the Net International Reserves have fluctuated around US$900 million in recent months, with gross reserves at US$1.7 billion by end-October 2013, which is equivalent to three months of import cover.



And the IMF says the execution of the 2013/14 budget has been broadly on track.



The Fund says looking ahead, the critical challenge will be to support economic growth, while continuing to undertake the necessary fiscal adjustment.



It cites the need for tax reform, pursuing strategic investments, improving competitiveness and the business climate and strengthening the social protection framework.



The IMF says its Management and Executive Board will consider the second review of Jamaica’s extending fund facility in late December.



It says if approved the country will receive a drawdown of about US$30 million.



The Ministry of Finance, in a statement, says the Government welcomes the conclusion of this round of discussions with the IMF and look forward to similarly favourable consideration by the Board.



The ministry says Jamaica intends to continue to build on the progress that has been made in reforming the country’s finances, and will endeavour to ensure that Jamaicans benefit from the gains in the economy.



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