Flood rains could impact growth - IMF

The International Monetary Fund (IMF), says the recent flood rains may further impact growth in 2017/18. 

A team from the Fund issued the caution on Friday following a five day visit to take stock of  progress under the economic reform programme.

Head of  the IMF staff  mission to Jamaica, Dr. Uma Ramakrishnan, however, said the  programme implementation continues, although weather swings are taking a toll on growth.

She said in addition to the floods, drought conditions adversely impacted agriculture in the second half  of  the 2016/17 fiscal year.

The IMF official added that while the unemployment rate is declining it remains high.On the other hand she noted that inflation is modest, and international reserves are above the program target, supported by a low current account deficit.  

The IMF team emphasised the need to anchor upcoming public sector wage negotiations on a comprehensive and forward-looking compensation framework.

While in Jamaica, the  team also discussed progress in institutional reforms, including those related to public bodies, the BOJ Act, the mitigation of  risks to the security dealers’ sector, and the development of the domestic bond market.

The second review under the IMF's Standby Arrangement is planned for September.

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