The Jamaican dollar has depreciated by more than six per cent since the start of the year.
That’s according to Governor of the Bank of Jamaica Richard Byles, who says the dollar depreciated by 6.4% or $8.48 from January 1, to February 19, to close at $141.05 to the US dollar.
The governor says, the recent depreciation can be attributed to large stock market transactions.
Governor Byles notes, that the post Christmas demand for foreign exchange has been settled, and dealers are now selling more to the market than what they buy.
He says, the exchange rate has been appreciating over the past four days, in continuation of the two way movement in the rate.
In the meantime, the governor notes that the central bank has introduced a new system to enhance the management of the foreign exchange market.
He says the BOJ is well advanced in rolling out a real time trading platform for foreign currency, and has been in constant consultations with the aim of improving the way the foreign exchange market operates.
The governor stresses that the onus is on the stakeholders of the market to ensure that it functions efficiently and smoothly, as the liberalization of the market is necessary for economic development.
Meantime, the Bank of Jamaica (BOJ) is reporting a significant increase in loans extended to businesses and households by deposit-taking institutions, last year.
BOJ Governor Richard Byles, says loans to businesses grew by some 20 % in 2019, while the loan provisions to households increased by 16.5 %.
He says further that the number of firms securing financing from the issue of corporate bonds and equity is encouraging.
However, Mr. Byles notes that this growth in credit has not been reflected in the general economic growth, due to fallout in other sectors.
The governor was addressing the quarterly media briefing at the BOJ’s downtown Kingston headquarters, yesterday.