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 will outperform other regional markets over the next five years. Nonetheless, small consumer bases will limit long-term investment opportunities, especially in the food retail sector.

Dominican Republic The Regional Outperformer
Select Countries - Food Sales (% 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: Though among the largest in the Caribbean region, Jamaica's insurance market is small and relatively immature by global standards, with density of about 2-3% of GDP across the life and non-life segments. Growth has been relatively stagnant over the past few years, held back by a combination of low household incomes, sluggish economic growth and high inflation. Meanwhile, exchange rate volatility has undermined USD-denominated earnings. A more positive macroeconomic forecast should pave the way for robust premiums growth over the forecast period to 2020, with growth expected to be concentrated on core lines such as life and motor insurance. There is also scope for expansion on minor non-life lines such as health insurance. While the life market is heavily consolidated, the non-life sector remains relatively fragmented and there should be opportunities for...

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: Increasing competition in the Caribbean telecoms markets has potential to enhance innovation and improve customer choice. The announcement in May 2016 that Jamaica had launched a third mobile operator, increases the prospects of competition in that market. Jamaica's mobile market is currently a duopoly between Digicel and LIME. Although the arrival of a third mobile operator would help to shake up the Trinidad & Tobago mobile market, we still expect the process to take years to play out, as licence fees are agreed,...

Tourism

Jamaica Tourism

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BMI View: Arrivals growth in the Caribbean will pick up to 2.5% 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 except St Vincent 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 2.5% in 2016, to 33.5mn, reflecting an improvement from growth of only 0.7% 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...

Latest Jamaica Articles

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  • The 2015-2016 El Niño episode had a severe negative impact on agricultural ...

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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