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S&P upgrades Jamaica’s credit rating to BB-

September 14, 2023

CMC – Standard and Poor’s (S&P) Global Ratings has upgraded Jamaica’s Long-Term Foreign and Local Currency Issuer Default Rating from ‘B+’ to ‘BB-‘ with a stable outlook.

The S&P rating reflects the agency’s projections that Jamaica’s debt-to-GDP will continue to decline, led by modest fiscal surpluses over the medium-term.

The agency says while the government’s interest burden remains high, it expects that this will fall to 17.5 per cent of government revenues within the next fiscal year and to less than 15 per cent by 2026.

S&P also foresees continued economic growth, expected to support external balances over the next four years.

At the end of the 2022/2023 fiscal year, the ratio of debt to output was 77.1 per cent, reflecting a lower outturn versus the projected ratio of 79.7 per cent.

S&P says this was led by modest fiscal surpluses over the medium-term.

In reacting to the development, Finance Minister Dr. Nigel Clarke said this is best credit rating Jamaica has received from the S&P since it started rating the country’s sovereign debt in 1999.

“The benefit of this credit upgrade to Jamaica is that it provides the ability for Jamaica to get better terms on financing which can save a substantial amount of money in the long run leaving more room for spending on education, health, security and infrastructure. It also makes Jamaica a more attractive place to invest. This will lead to more investments, more economic activity and more jobs for Jamaicans,” he said.

He said the historic upgrade is proof that the government’s policy priority of economic recovery is paying dividends, especially following the devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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