Sunday 19 May, 2019

Jamaican dollar surges past $136 against US

The Jamaican dollar lost 58 cents on Wednesday, surpassing the $136 mark for the first time against its US counterpart, according to the trading summary from the Bank of Jamaica (BOJ).

It closed at $136.17 against the US from $135.59 the prior day. The dollar has lost ground heavily against the greenback over the last couple months.

The Opposition People's National Party has accused the Government of deliberately pushing down the value of the Jamaican dollar. Opposition Spokesman on Finance, Mark Golding argued in July that “consumers, already hurt by rising electricity and gas prices, can brace for a further battering from unwanted price increases driven by the falling Jamaican dollar that the Government seems to be pursuing as a matter of unannounced policy.”

However, Minister Without Portfolio in the Ministry of Finance and Public Service, Fayval Williams has attributed the dollar slide to higher demand for the greenback driven mainly by companies which are restructuring their US dollar debts.

Wisynco Group increased pricesin June, stating that the company had no choice but to roll back previous price cuts because of the sharp devaluation of the Jamaican dollar against its US counterpart.

In the meantime, also on Wednesday, the British Pound Sterling closed at $174.92 from $173.24 while the Canadian dollar closed at $104.87 from $105.06.

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