KINGSTON, Jamaica, January 3, 2020 (CMC) – The Bank of Jamaica (BOJ) says during the last five work-days of December, last year, it recorded net currency issue of J$2.9 billion to financial institutions, including commercial banks, building societies and cambios.
“This was below the Bank’s projection for the period, of J$7.3 billion, as well as the average of J$4.5 billion over the past five years,” the BOJ, which also serves as the island’s central bank, revealed in a statement.
It said that the issue for the week contributed to an overall growth of J$18.9 billion or 14.5 percent in the currency stock for December 2019, below the Bank’s projection for growth of J$22.4 billion or 17.2 percent.
“The growth in issue for the month also fell below that for December 2018 (21.4 percent) and was the lowest growth in a December month, over the past decade,” the BOJ said, noting that at December 31, last year, “the currency stock was J$148.9 billion, representing an annual increase of 11.5 percent, relative to annual growth of 20.4 percent at the end- December 2018”.
According to the BOJ, when the estimated change in consumer prices is taken into account, the real annual growth in currency at the end of December 2019, is 5.6 percent, compared to 17.5 percent for the corresponding period in 2018.
The Central bank added, it is anticipating that the majority of the currency, issued during December 2019, will be redeemed during January 2020, noting that for the last five years, net currency redemption in January averaged 73.2 percent of the net currency issued in the preceding month.
The BOJ said there is normally a stronger demand for currency during the month of December, associated with increased spending over the holiday period, and that financial institutions therefore request more currency from it, to satisfy this demand.