That’s the bottom line about the lending institution.

Jamaica has missed by a small margin its target for the primary surplus, showing J$117 billion, compared to a budgeted $121 billion–just over 3 percent (according to communiqué #24 from the Economic Programme Oversight Committee, published on May 1). Inflation was much lower than expected (a good thing) and so was growth (not good); both developments tends to limit revenue collection. The longstanding problems of revenue collection are still there–there’s less tolerance of nonpayment and tax evasion, but still too much of both–as are those of being over-optimistic with forecasts–that’s a common problem, and both sides need to recognize this better, still.

Given the usual flux with data, the ‘miss’ is not the stuff of major drama: we could see revisions in coming months to make nonsense of the current ‘actuals’.

But, it’s important that Jamaica performs well during the IMF program and it’s put itself in a good position to make most believe that it takes its commitments seriously. That makes being granted a formal waiver by the IMF Board likely.

The other side to the argument is what failing the review would signal. We won’t go there.

But, it’s telling that the images are of a little hand wringing over the need to request a waiver.

When a bad student starts to become teacher’s pet, the strangest things go on in the school yard 😰