November 9, 2020
Jamaica’s Net International Reserves (NIR) totalled US$2,893.31 million as at October 2020, reflecting an increase of US$145.81 million relative to the US$2,747.49 million reported at the end of September 2020 (see figure 1).
This significant change in the NIR resulted from a US$146.25 million increase in Foreign Assets which total US$3,859.62 million compared to the US$3,713.37 million reported for September 2020. ‘Currency & Deposits’ contributed the most to the increase in Foreign Assets. ‘Currency & Deposits’ as at October 2020 totalled US$3,314.60 million reflecting an increase of US$132.05 million compared to US$3,182.55 million booked as at September 2020.
‘Securities’ amounted to US$321.43 million; US$13.56 million more than the US$307.87 million reported at September 2020. While, ‘SDR & IMF Reserve Position’ amounted to US$223.59 million; US$0.64 million more than the US$222.95 million reported at September 2020. Liabilities to the IMF accounted for 100% of total Foreign Liabilities; this amounted to US$966.32 million which reflected a month on month increase of US$0.44 million in comparison to the US$965.88 million recorded for September 2020.
At its current value, the NIR is US$276.26 million less than its total of US$3,169.57 million reported at the end of October 2019. The current reserve is able to support approximately 50.85 weeks of goods imports and 36.70 weeks of goods and services imports.
The country came in above the benchmark of US$3.155 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. The Net International Reserve (NIR) target outlined as per the new agreement for the 2020/21 fiscal year is US$3.485 billion (see figure 2 above). As at October 2020, the Country is US$0.59 million below the targeted amount.
Co-chair of the Economic Programme Oversight Committee Keith Duncan, at a virtual press conference in September 2020 indicated that the financial year started with the NIR being US$3.24 billion but, on September 7, the reserves reduced to US$2.75 billion, with a year-end projection of US$2.47 billion. He noted, “The recovery of tourism will be critical for us in terms of earning foreign exchange so that we can minimise our call on our Net International Reserves going forward. Tourism earnings are critical despite an increase in net remittances, which was up of 20.19% over the April to June quarter last year.”
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