Jamaica and the IMF: Addressing the Issues

Date Published: 
October, 2009
Document Author(s): 
CaPRI
Thematic Area: 

Due to the projected gaps in its foreign exchange earnings as a result of the global economic crisis, the government of Jamaica has been contemplating a lending relationship with the International Monetary Fund (IMF). This has caused much deliberation among Jamaicans, many of whom have experienced the difficult structural reform policies that Jamaica undertook in its previous arrangements with the Fund. This briefing explains the economic circumstances influencing Jamaica’s planned move to resume its relationship with the Fund, and possible implications for a new IMF loan arrangement. The study reveals that the country faces significant gaps in its external and fiscal accounts. With limited credit options given the current international economic environment, economic restructuring is imperative to sustainable recovery. To this end, the IMF offers a viable solution, one that will not only address the immediate problems affecting the country but could possibly provide the right backing needed to address Jamaica’s longstanding structural problems.