Date: March 8, 2019
Net International Reserves- February 2019
Jamaica’s Net International Reserves (NIR) totaled US$3,007.49 million as at February 2019, reflecting a decrease of US$23.46 million relative to the US$3,030.94 million reported as at the end of January 2019 (see figure 1).
Changes in the NIR resulted from a decrease in Foreign Assets of US$24.49 million to total US$3,536.84 million compared to the US$3,561.33 million reported for January 2019. ‘Currency & Deposits’ contributed the most to the decline in Foreign Assets. ‘Currency & Deposits’ as at February 2019 totaled US$2,975.68 million reflecting a decline of US$12.27 million compared to US$2,987.94 million booked as at January 2019.
‘Securities’ amounted to US$317.75 million; US$7.58 million less the US$325.33 million reported in January 2019. Foreign Liabilities for February 2019 amounted to US$529.35 million compared to the US$530.38 million reported for January 2019. Liabilities to the IMF accounted for 100% of total foreign liabilities, reflecting a US$1.03 million decline month over month from January 2019.
At its current value, the NIR is US$172.01 million less than its total of US$3,179.50 million as at the end of January 2018. The current reserve is able to support approximately 34.86 weeks of goods imports or 20.11 weeks of goods and services imports.
The country came in slightly below the benchmark of US$3.28 billion outlined by the International Monetary Fund for March 2018. Under the New Agreement, the IMF noted, “Considerable progress has been achieved on macroeconomic policies and outcomes. Fiscal discipline anchored by the Fiscal Responsibility Law has been essential to reduce public debt and secure macroeconomic stability. Employment is at historic highs, inflation and the current account deficit are modest, international reserves are at a comfortable level, and external borrowing costs are at historical lows.”
All performance criteria for the period ended December 2017 were met. The IMF further noted, “Financial sector stability is a prerequisite for strong and sustained growth. Ongoing prudential and supervisory improvements will enhance systemic stability.” “Continued reform implementation will not only safeguard hard-won gains but also deliver stronger growth and job creation.” The Net International Reserve (NIR) target outlined as per the new agreement for the 2018/19 fiscal year is US$3.22 billion (see figure 2 above). As at February 2019, the Country is US$0.21 million below targeted amount.
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