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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