JIS News

A team from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is scheduled to arrive in the island by next week to finalise assessment of the country’s second quarter economic performance, which ended in June.
This was disclosed by Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Hon. Audley Shaw at the weekly post-Cabinet press briefing held today (August 11) at Jamaica House.
“We are confident that the review will result in positive outcomes for that quarter. In fact, my own target now is the third quarter test, which would be due the end of September. So far, we are pretty confident about the performance through to the end of September,” Mr. Shaw said.
In June the IMF board of directors signed off on a disbursement of SDR 63.7 million or US$93.9 million (J$8.06 billion) to Jamaica, having finalised its review of the country’s first test under the Standby Arrangement signed in February.
This followed a visit in May, where the IMF technical team, led by Trevor Alleyne, made its first-quarter assessment of Jamaica under the new borrowing arrangement, which the country was said to have passed with relative ease.
“All quantitative performance targets and structural benchmarks for end-March were met and prospects for meeting the end-June targets and benchmarks appear favourable,” the IMF Board stated in a release at the time.
The IMF programme stipulates that Jamaica must face and pass seven other tests up to the end of February 2012.
Meanwhile, the Finance Minister stated that the Jamaican economy continues to be in stable condition, with most of the fundamental micro economic targets being met.
“Our Net International Reserve (NIR) continues to be healthy as it is some US$400 million above the target of what we had anticipated it would be within the context of the (IMF) Letter of Intent. It now stands at US$1.76 billion,” Mr. Shaw informed.
He said that the anticipated receipt of US$200 million from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) later this week will increase the NIR to US$1.96 billion.
“But, by the end of August, after other payment obligations have been made, it will settle in the region of about US$1.8 billion,” Mr. Shaw stated.
The Finance Minister also informed that the inflation rate is expected to be at the low end of the targeted rate of 7.5 to 9.5 per cent, while remittances are up 8.7 per cent for the first six months of 2010.
“Remittances are heading once again in the right direction. Interest rates have been trending down and for the last Treasury Bill auction, we had an interest rate of 9.32 per cent,” Mr. Shaw said.

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