Jamaica

In-depth country-focused analysis on Jamaica's economic, political and operational risk environment, complemented by detailed sector insight

Jamaica

Our comprehensive assessment of Jamaica's operating environment and the outlook for its leading sectors are formed by bringing together a wealth of data on global markets that affect Jamaica, as well as the latest industry developments that could impact Jamaica's industries. This unique integrated approach has given us an impeccable track-record for predicting important shifts in the markets, ensuring you’re aware of the latest market opportunities and risks in Jamaica before your competitors.

Country Risk

Jamaica Country Risk

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Core Views

  • Bermuda's prolonged recession continued into 2014, and we now expect this economic contraction to continue over the coming years. We expect that an international crackdown on offshore financial centres such as Bermuda will lead to a decline in financial services activity, one of the key contributors to the island's economy. Although tourism will rise, it will not be enough to offset tempered insurance activities.

  • Bermuda's current account will remain in surplus over the course of our 10-year forecast period, though the surplus will decrease to 10.4% of GDP by 2024, down from 17.4% in 2014, in line with our projections for slowing exports of tourism services and secular decline in off-shore finance.

  • Despite poor growth prospects, Bermuda will remain politically stable over the next 10 years owing to the...

Jamaica Country Risk

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Core Views:

  • We believe that the English-speaking Caribbean will continue to see a modest economic recovery in the coming quarters as US growth continues. A strengthening US consumer will boost tourism to the region, driving growth in tourism-dependent economies. Financial services will continue to struggle due to tightening financial regulation in developed economies, while lower precious metals prices will weaken the macroeconomic outlook for the region's miners. That said, growth will remain stronger in the region's mining-driven economies than in its predominantly tourism-driven countries.

  • Caribbean economies will continue to face economic headwinds in the coming years in light of rising debt burdens, fixed exchange rate regimes, and modest growth prospects. These factors, combined with our view that financial services sectors will see a significant...

Jamaica Industry Coverage (6)

Food & Drink

Jamaica Food & Drink

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BMI View: We are turning more positive regarding economic growth in the Caribbean, as structural and financial reforms take hold in the region, tourism numbers pick up and growth becomes stronger in key markets like the US. The Dominican Republic and Jamaica will outperform other regional markets over the next five years. Nonetheless, small consumer bases will limit long-term investment opportunities.

Dominican Republic The Regional Outperformer
Select Countries - Food Sales Growth (% chg y-o-y, USD terms)
...

Insurance

Jamaica Insurance

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BMI View: Currency weakness will continue to plague the dollar terms returns of many of the Caribbean insurance sectors covered in this report. Offshore business in Barbados and the Cayman Islands, amounting to around USD45bn annually, dwarf the domestic sectors in the region. Health insurance, an underdeveloped line of business, is likely to outperform in many of these markets over the five-year forecast period.

The insurance markets of the Caribbean, particularly offshore business in Barbados and the Cayman Islands, but also domestic sectors, are heavily tied to the economic fortunes of the United States and, to a lesser extent, Canada. The ongoing recovery in both major North American markets should boost the fortunes of the region's insurers, driving demand for offshore reinsurance and captives, as well as boosting domestic economies. On the whole, regulation...

Jamaica Insurance

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BMI View: Jamaica's insurance sector will increase at a steady clip in the short and medium term, given the low but growing penetration rates. Jamaica's life insurance sector is dominated by Sagicor Life and Guardian, capturing 85% of sector premiums between them. This two-horse race will remain over the next five years, with potential challengers lacking any significant differentiation. The non-life sector by contrast is well-diversified, encouraging competition. No company captures above 20% of sector premiums in non-life business.

Currency weakness will have less of an impact on premium growth in 2016 compared to 2015, with life-premiums set to increase from 3.1% in 2015 to 6.2% this year. Growth will reach USD370mn in 2016 and hereafter, increase above 7% per annum to reach USD550bn...

Mining

Jamaica Mining

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BMI View: Mining sectors across Central America and the Caribbean will see varying growth prospects in 2020. The region has significant untapped mineral potential, yet a range of business environments and operational challenges will lead to uneven growth.

Select Countries - Mining Industry Value
2014e 2015e 2016f...

Telecommunications

Jamaica Telecommunications

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BMI View: Haiti and Cuba represent the largest organic growth opportunities in the region, as both are significantly underdeveloped compared to their peers. However, the risks associated with business in these two markets mean that a mobile subscription boom is far from likely.

Key Data

  • Cayman Islands has the highest mobile penetration, at 153.4% in 2015, while Cuba's penetration rate remains below the regional average, at 28.9%.

  • The number of mobile lines in Cuba reached the 3mn mark in Q215, up from 2.4mn lines at the start of 2015, according to data published by state-owned telecoms operator Empresa de Telecomunicaciones de Cuba (ETECSA). The increase was mainly owing to a promotion, called Si activas ganas 30, wherein new users obtained USD30 in credit for activating a...

Tourism

Jamaica Tourism

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BMI View: Arrivals growth in the Caribbean will pick up to 2.3% in 2016, reflecting improved visitor numbers from Europe and North America. The Dominican Republic, St Eustatius and Cuba are expecting the highest rate of arrivals growth, but all tourism markets will experience growth in 2016. However, the outbreak of the Zika virus from late 2015 could pose downside risks to 2016 arrivals forecasts.

We currently expect arrivals to the Caribbean to grow by 2.3% in 2016, to 33.5mn, reflecting an improvement from growth of only 0.6% in 2015. We expect the Dominican Republic, Cuba, St Eustatius and St Lucia to post the highest level of arrivals growth in 2016, at around 6%, but we note the positive sign that all Caribbean countries except St Vincent will experience arrivals growth in 2016, for the first time since the downturn....

Latest Jamaica Articles

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  • We have upgraded our oil price forecast this month with markets having pric...

Latest Jamaica Blogs

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  • The Jamaican economy is one of the few in the Caribbean region that could e...

Latest Jamaica Podcasts

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