JAMAICA | Currency Depreciation Has Slowed – BOJ

JAMAICA |  Currency Depreciation Has Slowed – BOJ

KINGSTON, February 23, 2022 - JIS - The Bank of Jamaica (BOJ) is reporting that the pace of foreign exchange rate depreciation has slowed significantly.

BOJ Governor, Richard Byles, said that the exchange rate, as at February 16, 2022, was J$157.42 to US$1, representing four per cent annual point-to-point depreciation.

“This is a slower pace of depreciation than what occurred over the same period of last year. Moreover, since the beginning of 2022, the exchange rate has depreciated by 1.5 per cent, significantly slower than the 6.1 per cent for the similar period in 2021,” Mr. Byles informed.

He was speaking during the BOJ’s digital quarterly media briefing on Monday (February 21).

Mr. Byles said deceleration in the pace of depreciation, versus last year, reflects actions taken by the Bank in response to the higher-than-targeted inflation rate, ranging between four and six per cent.

He told journalists that the entity has sold US$301.9 million to the market via the BOJ Foreign Exchange Intervention and Trading Tool (B-FXITT), compared to US$88.7 million for the corresponding period of 2020.

Additionally, the Governor said the BOJ sold US$115.3 million directly to the energy sector.

“The Bank’s actions have ensured that foreign exchange currency flows continue to be healthy and that businesses and individuals in Jamaica, which require foreign exchange, have been able to access it,” he noted further.

Mr. Byles said for the calendar year up to February 3, 2022, daily purchases of US dollars by authorised dealers and cambios averaged approximately US$37.2 million.

This, he indicated, was 12 per cent greater than the average of US$33.3 million for the corresponding period last year.

“At the same time, however, daily sales to end users over the same period averaged close to US$30.5 million, [which was] 26 per cent above the US$24.2 million recorded a year earlier,” the BOJ Governor said.

Mr. Byles advised that Jamaica’s gross international reserves totalled US$4.3 billion as at February 16, 2022, “representing the equivalent of 140 per cent of the level considered adequate”.

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