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An overhead view of a section of New Kingston in Jamaica (File photo)

$5.7 billion in net currency issued by Bank of Jamaica last week

An overhead view of a section of New Kingston in Jamaica (File photo)

The Bank of Jamaica (BOJ) last week issued a net currency of $5.7 billion — an increase of 3.3 per cent in the currency stock for that week.

The Bank of Jamaica in downtown Kingston, Jamaica (Photo: Jamaica Observer)

According to the BOJ, the amount issued for the week of December 14-18 was also below the $8.1 billion or 6.2 per cent increase that was in the stock for the similar period last year.

“The net currency issue for the review week translated to an increase of $11.8 billion (7.0 per cent) in the currency stock for the month-to- 18 December 2020. The increase was below the bank’s projection for an expansion of 8.0 per cent for the period, but slightly above the net currency issue of 6.6 per cent for the corresponding period in 2019,” said a release from the central bank on Monday.

An aerial view of New Kingston, Jamaica. (Photo: wikicommons)

BOJ, in a news release last week, had projected that the currency stock would increase in December relative to that in November by some $22.0 billion or 13.0 per cent to total $190.9 billion. The bank in its forecast, however, indicated that the ongoing novel coronavirus pandemic is expected to cast uncertainty on the projection.

The central bank normally issues and redeems notes and coins daily in order to meet the demand for cash from individuals and businesses. In light of the Christmas holidays and the increased spending during the period, the bank said that it was customary for currency demands to increase for December as financial institutions demand greater stock.

“As at December 18, the stock of currency was $180.7 billion — representing an annual nominal growth of 30.4 per cent, relative to 13.9 per cent at the corresponding period in 2019.

“When the forecasted change in the general level of consumer prices is considered, the estimated real growth in currency for the period is 23.7 per cent, which is above the real growth of 7.2 per cent for the same period of the previous year,” BOJ said.