September 8, 2021
Jamaica’s Net International Reserves (NIR) totalled US$3,888.67 million as at August 2021, reflecting an increase of US$529.13 million relative to the US$3,359.55 million reported at the end of July 2021 (see figure 1).
Foreign Assets totalled US$4,784.49 million, US$526.29 million more than the US$4,258.20 million reported for July 2021. ‘Currency & Deposits’ contributed the most to the increase in Foreign Assets. ‘Currency & Deposits’ as at August 2021 totalled US$3,735.64 million reflecting an increase of US$17.77 million compared to US$3,717.86 million booked as at July 2021.
‘Securities’ amounted to US$326.75 million; US$2.99 million more than the US$323.75 million reported at July 2021. While ‘SDR & IMF Reserve Position’ amounted to US$722.10 million; US$505.52 million more than the US$216.59 million reported at July 2021. Liabilities to the IMF accounted for 100% of total Foreign Liabilities; this amounted to US$895.81 million which reflected a month on month decline of US$2.84 million in comparison to the US$898.65 million recorded for July 2021.
At its current value, the NIR is US$1.13 billion more than its total of US$2,759.39 million reported at the end of August 2020. The current reserve is able to support approximately 46.13 weeks of goods imports and 32.92 weeks of goods and services imports.
The country came in above the benchmark of US$3.16 billion outlined by the International Monetary Fund for March 2020, closing the fiscal year at US$3.24 billion, US$0.09 million above targeted amount. However the Net International Reserve (NIR) came in below the benchmark outlined as per the new agreement for the 2020/21 fiscal year which was US$3.49 billion (see figure 2 above). As at March 2021, the Country ended US$0.17 million below the targeted amount.
Speaking during the BOJ’s digital quarterly briefing on February 19, 2021, Bank of Jamaica (BOJ) Governor Mr. Byles said that notwithstanding the fallout in tourism earnings due to a dramatic decline in visitor arrivals consequent on COVID-19, coupled with lower imports, inflows to the foreign exchange market have remained healthy. He noted, “Jamaica’s net international reserves (NIR), totalling just under US$3 billion as at February 16, should be “quite adequate” to see the country through the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic crisis.” Furthermore, the BOJ governor highlighted the dramatic improvement in remittance inflows, which served to cushion the effects of the fallout in tourism on our balance of payments, while private capital outflows were also tempered by a reduction in capital market foreign exchange investments.
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