Getting an Unexpected Boost

Mar 1, 2002

Jamaica's economy was just beginning to enjoy a renaissance when a bout of political violence last July that left 25 people dead was followed by the disastrous drop in tourism revenues after the September 11 terrorist attacks in the US. But the country is working hard to revive its economy and prepare for an uncertain election year.

Jamaica, like other Caribbean nations that depend on tourism, first began to notice the effects of the softening economy in the US last June as the number of visitors to the island slowed. The Ministry of Finance now estimates tourism revenues will drop 12% this year. Jamaica was quick to revise its economic targets agreed with the International Monetary Fund in December. It expects the economy to grow 1.5% this year, half the previous forecast and the current account deficit could widen to 8% instead of 5.3%. Unemployment is also likely to rise.

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