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Jamaica: NIR at $3.3 billion

Bank of Jamaica (BOJ) Governor, Richard Byles, says Jamaica’s net international reserves (NIR) remain healthy, amounting to US$3.3 billion, as at the end of April.

Speaking at the BOJ’s digital quarterly media briefing on Friday, Byles noted that additionally, since March 2020, the bank has purchased US$1.9 billion locally via market surrenders, which pay for government debt servicing and some energy imports.

Consequent to these and other developments, Byles said the BOJ is projecting that over the next two years, the current account deficit of the balance of payments will remain at sustainable levels of about 3-5 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP).

“This is supported by expectations for a partial recovery in tourism arrivals, driven in large part by successful phased (COVID-19) vaccination programmes in key source markets and our assumption of careful control of community spread in Jamaica,” Byles added.

The BOJ governor said the central bank also continues to intervene in the local foreign exchange market when temporary shortfalls have been identified.

He indicated that total BOJ Foreign Exchange Intervention & Trading Tool (B-FXITT) flash sale operations, to date, since the onset of the COVID-19 crisis in March 2020, has amounted to US$411 million.

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