Jamaica’s Net International Reserves (NIR) totaled US$3,074.57 million as at March 2018, reflecting a decrease of US$104.93 million relative to the US$3,179.50 million reported as at the end of February 2018 (see figure 1).
Changes in the NIR resulted from a decrease in Foreign Assets of US$104.22 million to total US$3,656.91 million compared to the US$3,761.14 million reported for February 2018. ‘Currency & Deposits’ contributed the most to the decline in Foreign Assets. ‘Currency & Deposits’ as at March 2018 totaled US$3,060.24 million reflecting a decline of US$102.95 million compared to US$3,163.19 million booked as at February 2018.
‘Securities’ amounted to US$322.86 million; US$2.74 million less than the US$325.60 million reported in February 2018. Foreign Liabilities for March 2018 amounted to US$582.35 million compared to the US$581.63 million reported for February 2018. Liabilities to the IMF accounted for 100% of total foreign liabilities, reflecting a US$0.71 million decline month over month from February 2018.
At its current value, the NIR is US$305.40 million more than its total of US$2,769.17 million as at the end of March 2017. The current reserve is able to support approximately 38.83 weeks of goods imports or 22.49 weeks of goods and services imports.
The country had surpassed the benchmark of US$2.54 billion outlined by the International Monetary Fund for March 2017. As such, Jamaica and the IMF have entered into a New Agreement to support growth and create jobs with the international body citing, “Jamaica has made good progress under the previous IMF – support program.”
The IMF recently concluded its third review under the new standby agreement, indicating that “Considerable progress has been achieved on macroeconomic policies and outcomes”. All performance criteria for the period ended December 2017 were met. As such, “Consideration by the IMF’s Executive Board is tentatively scheduled for April 2018. Upon approval, an additional US$233 million would be made available to Jamaica, bringing the total accessible credit to about US$1.033 billion.”
The Net International Reserve (NIR) target outlined as per the new agreement for the 2017/18 fiscal year is US$3.28 billion (see figure 2 above). As at March 2018, the Country closed the fiscal year US$0.21 million below targeted amount.
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