Sustained debt reduction: The Jamaica exception

Serkan Arslanal, Barry Eichengreen, Peter Blair Henry

At a time when many countries, large and small, are confronting heavy and growing public debt burdens, Jamaica offers a rare example of a country that succeeded in substantially reducing its debt, according to a paper discussed at the Brookings Papers on Economic Activity (BPEA) conference on March 28.

Jamaica cut its debt, as a percentage of its gross domestic product (GDP), in half—from 144% in 2012 to just 72% in 2023, according to the paper—”Sustained Debt Reduction: The Jamaica Exception.” And the International Monetary Fund (IMF) expects Jamaica’s debt ratio to decline still further, to less than 60%, by 2028.


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