The IMF said in a statement late Monday that its executive board concluded the 13th review of the US$932.3 million four year Extended Fund Facility (EFF) Jamaica has with the Washington-based financial institution.
It said that as a result of the review, Jamaica will receive immediately 39.6 million.
The IMF said Jamaica’s continued commitment to the demanding reform programme even in the fourth year of programme is commendable.
“All quantitative performance criteria for end-June 2016, as well as the continuous quantitative program targets and structural benchmarks, were met. Domestic confidence indicators are at an all-time high, and there are improving signs of economic activity, including agricultural recovery, strong performance in tourism and manufacturing, increased FDI (foreign direct investment) inflow, and stronger private sector credit growth.”.
The IMF said that real gross domestic product (GDP) growth is estimated at one per cent for the financial year 2015-16 and is projected to reach 1.7 per cent in the next fiscal year.
But the Washington-based financial institution warned “important risks to the programme remain.
“Higher growth dividends, more job creation, and improved living standards will be essential to maintain social support for the reform agenda. Safeguarding growth-enhancing capital spending is essential for employment and job-creation.”
It said assessing banking sector competition, improving land titling, as well as developing mobile money and agency banking services will help alleviate constraints to financial inclusion and investment.
“The rebalancing from direct to indirect taxes provides an opportunity to improve compliance and increase incentives for production and effort. At the same time, protecting the poor and vulnerable is a high priority, which requires developing and implementing a well-designed plan to enhance Jamaica’s social protection framework to ensure inclusive and equitable growth.
“Controlling the wage bill and reprioritizing public spending to areas where the need is highest, including by delivering public services cost-effectively and efficiently, are vital to support a dynamic private sector,” the IMF said.
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