JIS News

Story Highlights

  • Jamaica has “comfortably met” the stipulated monetary IMF targets
  • The NIR totalled some US$1 billion
  • An IMF Mission Team is currently in Jamaica conducting the country’s first performance review

Bank of Jamaica (BoJ) Governor, Brian Wynter, is reporting that Jamaica has “comfortably met” the stipulated monetary targets under the International Monetary Fund (IMF) US$932.3 million four-year Extended Fund Facility (EFF), for the April to June quarter.

This is  in relation to the Net International Reserves (NIR), as well as fiscal and debt targets and structural benchmarks which were also met, based on information from the Ministry of Finance and Planning.

Speaking at the BoJ’s quarterly media briefing at the institution’s downtown Kingston offices on August 21, Mr. Wynter said that at the end of June, the NIR totalled some US$1 billion, which exceeded the IMF’s US$873 million target.

The June quarter figure, he informed, represents the equivalent of some 12 to 13 weeks of imported goods and services.

The Governor explained that strengthening the foreign exchange reserves is a key element of the Government’s economic reform programme under the EFF, as mapped out and agreed on with the IMF.

This, he pointed out, is to ensure that adequate resources are at the country’s disposal to safeguard the economy against potential shocks, and enable the administration to make timely adjustments accordingly.

“So, stabilizing the level of reserves and then restoring a growth path to those reserves is a very important objective in this programme,” he underscored.

The Governor said it is against this background that an IMF Mission Team is currently in Jamaica conducting the country’s first performance review under the EFF, for the period.

“Their review will inform consideration by the Executive Board of the IMF, which is expected to take place in September. So, the Mission will finish their work here, go back (to Washington, D.C., USA), and go through their various processes, leading up to a submission to the Board, which will then formally conduct the review,” he outlined.

The Governor explained that the Board’s approval of the review, when completed, will entitle Jamaica to another draw of funds from the IMF under the EFF.

“It will also serve to provide re-assurance to other multilateral partners and to the financial markets about the government’s commitment to the reforms that are necessary to improve Jamaica’s competitiveness and growth in the economy,” Mr. Wynter added.