Money in circulation during last week of December fell to 5-year low
The Bank of Jamaica (BOJ) is reporting that the amount of money in circulation during the last five working days of December 2019 (23 to31) was $2.94 billion.
This was below the central bank’s projection for the period of $7.3 million as well as the average of $4.5 billion over the past five years.
It also fell way below the $7.37 billion that the BOJ had projected for the 2019 period.
The central bank’s net currency issue represents the money issued to commercial banks, building societies and cambios.
Despite the five-year low, the BOJ said the issue for the week contributed to overall growth of $18.9 billion or 14.5 per cent in the currency stock for December 2019.
However, this was also below the bank’s projection for growth of $22.4 billion or 17.2 per cent.
“The growth in issue for the month also fell below that for December 2018 (21.4 per cent) and was the lowest growth in a December month over the past decade,” the bank said in a statement on Thursday.
Meanwhile, the BOJ said that as at December 31, 2019, the currency stock was $148.9 billion. This represents an annual increase of 11.5 per cent, relative to annual growth of 20.4 per cent at the end of December 2018.
"When the estimated change in consumer prices is taken into account, the real annual growth in currency at end-December 2019 is 5.6 per cent, compared to 17.5 per cent for the corresponding period in 2018," said the central bank.
In the meantime, the bank is anticipating that the majority of the currency issued during December 2019 will be redeemed during January 2020.
It said that for the last five years, net currency redemption in January averaged 73.2 per cent of the net currency issued in the preceding month.