Fitch upgrades Jamaica to positive economic outlook

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Fitch upgrades Jamaica to positive economic outlook

Sunday, February 02, 2020

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Credit rating company Fitch Ratings upgraded the Government of Jamaica's long-term Foreign-Currency Issuer and Local Currency Issuer Default Rating (IDR) to 'B+' from 'B' and revised the outlook to 'positive' from 'stable'.

The agency also upgraded the country ceiling to 'BB-' from 'B'. This is Jamaica's highest rating in more than 10 years.

The rating agency indicated that the revised outlook reflected Jamaica's efforts in maintaining the debt-to-gross domestic product (GDP) ratio on a downward trajectory supported by the Government's successes in running large primary surpluses.

Fitch also recognised the efforts to ensure policy continuity in a post-International Monetary Fund (IMF) environment, with the commitment to establish a fiscal council and the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding with the Economic Programme Oversight Committee (EPOC) as positives.

In explaining the affirmation of the “B+” ratings, Fitch pointed out that the high debt-to-GDP ratio and low growth levels were constraining factors.

However, prospects for growth have improved and it is expected that growth will move steadily to 1.5 per cent by 2021.

Minister of Finance and the Public Service Nigel Clarke in commenting on the rating action said, “This is great news for Jamaica. Jamaica is making consistent economic gains that are reflected in the revision by Fitch of Jamaica's economic outlook to positive.”


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