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    • The Bank of Jamaica (BOJ) says currency circulation during December 2018, totalled $23.6 billion or 21.4 per cent more than the corresponding period in 2017.
    • This exceeded the BOJ’s $18.1-billion or 16.1-per cent projection, relative to December 2017.
    • The Bank said net currency issued to financial institutions during the last six days of December 2018 totalled $5.5 billion, which was substantially higher than the projected $412.4 million.

    The Bank of Jamaica (BOJ) says currency circulation during December 2018, totalled $23.6 billion or 21.4 per cent more than the corresponding period in 2017.

    This exceeded the BOJ’s $18.1-billion or 16.1-per cent projection, relative to December 2017.

    The Bank said net currency issued to financial institutions during the last six days of December 2018 totalled $5.5 billion, which was substantially higher than the projected $412.4 million.

    Additionally, it was above the $860.2-million currency issue for the corresponding period in 2017, and the average of $1.39 million over the past five years.

    The Central Bank noted that the increase for December 2018, consequent on Christmas festivities, also exceeded that for the previous year and was the largest recorded by the month since 2007.

    “The faster currency growth possibly reflected improved [gross domestic product] growth, employment and retroactive wage settlements during the period,” the BOJ said in a statement on Thursday (January 3).

    Meanwhile, the BOJ advised that total 2018 currency issue amounted to $133.5 billion, representing an annual increase of 20.4 per cent, relative to 12.9 per cent at the end of December 2017.

    “When the estimated change in consumer prices is taken into account, the real annual growth in currency at the end of December 2018 was 15.9 per cent, compared to 7.3 per cent for the corresponding period in 2017,” the Central Bank statement said.

    The BOJ anticipates that most of the currency issued in December will be redeemed during January.

    Net currency redemption in January over the last five years has averaged 75.8 per cent of the preceding month’s issue.