Balance-of-payments deficits in the 1960s and early 1970s were directly related to the growth of the Jamaican economy and to increased imports of capital goods and raw materials. Later in the 1970s, however, the continued deficits were symptomatic of a weakened economy, declining exports, and the flight of capital. The payments picture brightened somewhat in the first half of the 1980s (despite rising debt payments and the downturn of bauxite exports), as income from tourism and remittances from Jamaicans abroad rose, while substantial international assistance enabled Jamaica to meet its payments obligations. In the 1990s, a favorable balance of payments was aided by increased tourism inflows, reduced capital outflows, significant improvement in the agricultural sector, stability in the foreign exchange rate, and the improved economic strength of the US, Jamaica's major trading partner. The 11 September 2001 terrorist attacks on the US negatively impacted Jamaica's balance of payments situation, which had improved in 2000.
The US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) reports that in 2001 the purchasing power parity of Jamaica's exports was $1.6 billion while imports totaled $3.1 billion resulting in a trade deficit of $1.5 billion.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) reports that in 2001 Jamaica had exports of goods totaling $1.45 billion and imports totaling $3.07 billion. The services credit totaled $1.9 billion and debit $1.52 billion. The following table summarizes Jamaica's balance of payments as reported by the IMF for 2001 in millions of US dollars.
|Balance on goods||-1,618|
|Balance on services||382|
|Balance on income||-438|
|Direct investment abroad||-89|
|Direct investment in Jamaica||614|
|Portfolio investment assets||-39|
|Portfolio investment liabilities||70|
|Other investment assets||-216|
|Other investment liabilities||1,321|
|Net Errors and Omissions||15|
|Reserves and Related Items||-865|