JIS News

Story Highlights

  • BoJ is projecting a moderate inflation rate of between two and three per cent, for the October to December quarter.
  • Inflation for the July to September period rose to 3.7 per cent.
  • An increase in public transportation costs was the “main factor” causing increased inflation for the period.

The Bank of Jamaica (BoJ) is projecting a moderate inflation rate of between two and three per cent, for the October to December quarter.

This is at least 0.7 per cent below the figure which Central Bank Governor, Brian Wynter, says was recorded for the July to September quarter.

Speaking at the BoJ’s quarterly media briefing at its downtown Kingston offices on November 19, Mr. Wynter said the moderate third quarter projection is expected to mainly reflect the effects of the recent increase in water rates, as also “seasonally” higher prices for domestic agricultural products.

He told journalists that inflation for the July to September period rose to 3.7 per cent, “which is above the Bank’s projected range of two to three per cent for the quarter.”

The Governor pointed out that an increase in public transportation costs, bus and taxi fares, which took effect in September, was the “main factor” causing increased inflation for the period.

Mr. Wynter said the figure was “exacerbated” by increased crude oil prices during the review period, “owing to the developments that have been taking place in the Middle East.”

“The impact of these factors in the quarter was tempered by lower costs for communications and international grains,” he added.

The Governor advised that the inflation figure of 0.8 per cent reported for October by the Statistical Institute of Jamaica (STATIN), “was lower than what we (Bank of Jamaica), had been expecting for the month.”

He further said the two to three per cent third quarter inflation projection is also expected to result from “lagged” pass-through of exchange rate depreciation to prices.

“Furthermore, continued decline in international grain prices is expected to have a compensating impact on inflation in the quarter. So, given the outturn for the year, so far, and the forecast for the remainder of the fiscal year, the bank is projecting that (overall) inflation is going to fall within our target range of 8.5 to 10.5 per cent,” Mr. Wynter noted.