Jamaica warned over debt

(BBC) The ratings agency, Standard and Poor’s, has said that the Jamaica government needs a strategy for debt reduction that takes the country beyond the next scheduled general elections.

The agency made the recommendation as it maintained Jamaica’s credit rating at ‘B-‘ (B minus) grade over the long term at ‘C’, also known as junk, in the short term.

Standard and Poor’s said it will be key for the rating that the government implements a medium-term strategy for reducing the “onerous” debt burden.

“This is especially the case given that the IMF agreement is due to terminate in August 2012, just a few months ahead of general elections,” said analyst Sifon Arevalo.

“If the government is not able to implement a sustainable economic plan, we would likely lower the rating,” he added.

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