Saturday 11 July, 2020

Fitch Ratings affirm Jamaica at ‘B+’, revises outlook to ‘positive’

Fitch Ratings Agency on Wednesday affirmed the Government of Jamaica’s Long-Term Foreign-Currency Issuer and Local Currency Issuer Default Rating (IDR) at ‘B+’ and revised the outlook to “positive” from “stable”.

Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Dr 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.”    

The rating agency indicated that the revised outlook reflected Jamaica’s efforts in maintaining the debt-to-GDP on a downward trajectory supported by the government’s successes in running large primary surpluses.  

Fitch recognized the efforts to ensure policy continuity in a post IMF environment, with the commitment to establish a fiscal council and the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Economic Programme Oversight Committee (EPOC) as positives, Ministry of Finance said in a statement.

In explaining the affirmation of the “B+” ratings, Fitch pointed out that the high debt-to-GDP 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 percent by 2021.

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