JIS News

The Jamaican dollar has appreciated for the first time in seven years, Governor of the Bank of Jamaica, Derick Latibeaudiere reported today (February 10).
According to the Governor, the weighted average selling rate of the domestic currency appreciated by 0.4 per cent in the December 2004 quarter relative to the previous quarter, reflecting the stability that has been in evidence since late 2003.
Mr. Latibeaudiere, who made the announcement at the quarterly press briefing, held at the bank in downtown Kingston, emphasized that this was the first quarter in which the Jamaican dollar has appreciated since June of 1998.
The Governor said the bank was expecting the foreign exchange market to remain fairly stable for the rest of the fiscal year.
“The continued stability in the foreign exchange market in the review quarter was influenced by increased investor confidence associated with the expectations of continued improvements in the domestic economy,” Mr. Latibeaudiere said.
This, he said, came against the background of the positive reviews regarding the country’s macro-economic performance by international research and rating agencies, in spite of the adverse impact of Hurricane Ivan last year September.
The Governor pointed out that the successful raising of 150 million Euros on the international capital market in the quarter, as well as strong medium-term growth prospects for foreign direct investments had boosted the confidence of investors.
For the March quarter, the seasonal increase in foreign exchange inflows from the tourism sector, as well as the significant levels of the net international reserves (NIR), should contribute to the continued stability in the foreign exchange market, Mr. Latibeaudiere said.
He pointed out that the NIR has remained at over US$1.8 billion since October 2004.
For 2004, the Governor noted that the weighted average exchange rate depreciated by 1.6 per cent, significantly less than the 15.9 per cent recorded in 2003. This is reported to be the smallest rate of depreciation in any year since the 1.5 percent recorded in 1998.

Skip to content