Date: April 8, 2019
Net International Reserves- March 2019
Jamaica’s Net International Reserves (NIR) totaled US$3,084.83 million as at March 2019, reflecting an increase of US$77.34 million relative to the US$3,007.49 million reported as at the end of February 2019 (see figure 1).
Changes in the NIR resulted from an increase in Foreign Assets of US$68.34 million to total US$3,605.18 million compared to the US$3,536.84 million reported for February 2019. ‘Currency & Deposits’ contributed the most to the increase in Foreign Assets. ‘Currency & Deposits’ as at March 2019 totaled US$3,035.29 million reflecting an increase of US$59.61million compared to US$2,975.68 million booked as at February 2019.
‘Securities’ amounted to US$328.17 million; US$10.42 million more the US$317.75 million reported in February 2019. Foreign Liabilities for March 2019 amounted to US$520.35 million compared to the US$529.35 million reported for February 2019. Liabilities to the IMF accounted for 100% of total foreign liabilities, reflecting a US$9.00 million increase month over month from February 2019.
At its current value, the NIR is US$10.26 million more than its total of US$3,074.57million as at the end of March 2018. The current reserve is able to support approximately 35.54 weeks of goods imports or 20.50 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.”
Following a visit by an International Monetary Fund (IMF) staff team led by Ms. Uma Ramakrishnan between February 25- March 8, 2019 to conduct discussions on the fifth review of the island’s financial and economic program, the IMF issued a statement citing, “strong economic fundamentals and sustained implementation of the authorities’ reform program provide the private sector with an unprecedented opportunity.” 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 March 2019, the Country closed the fiscal year US$0.21 million below targeted amount.
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