Fitch Ratings agency has upgraded Jamaica’s long term foreign currency issuer and local currency issuer default rating, to ‘B plus’, from ‘B‘.
Fitch also revised the outlook to “stable” from “positive”.
The agency also upgraded the country’s ceiling from ‘B‘, to ‘B B minus’.
This is Jamaica’s highest rating in over ten years.
Minister of Finance Dr. Nigel Clarke, in welcoming the rating upgrade, said the government remains committed to the continuation of policies and programmes, that enable a stable macroeconomic environment, which facilitates the economic growth required for sustainable, and inclusive development.
The upgrade reflects Jamaica’s macroeconomic performance, in particular, the track record of strong fiscal discipline, reflected in sustained high primary surpluses over the last six years, which have contributed to the significant reduction in the debt to gross domestic product ratio.
Dr. Clarke said the ratings were also supported by Jamaica’s structural strengths, such as, relatively high income per capita and social indicators, policy consensus, and relatively strong institutional capacity.
He cited a statement from Fitch, which indicated that positive performance indicators underpinning the upgrade in Jamaica’s credit rating, include the strong performance of tax revenues, increasing by 10.4 percent year-on-year.
Fitch also pointed to the decrease in the government’s interest burden; reduction in the unemployment rate to an all-time low; strong external liquidity; and reforms to strengthen the macroeconomic institutional framework.