Jamaica’s NIR jumps by US$250M

US$ bungleJamaica’s Net International Reserves (NIR) benefited from buoyant flows during the summer months to shoot up by US$250 million, taking the net reserves US$2.52 billion at the end of August. The reserves shot up by US$124 million in July and jumped by US$126 million in August, as the banking system raked in much more foreign currency over the two months than they sold.
In spite of the net heavy inflows during the period, the local dollar declined marginally by less than two percent against the critically important US dollar, with the selling rate moving from $125.46 at the end of June to $127.57 at the end of August.
The build-up of the NIR took place over the period when bankers net purchasing of foreign currency amounted to just under US$300 million in July and August.
The reserves at the end of August are above the 2016 peak of US$2.42 billion at the end of March, just before the central bank intervened by selling to the market, pulling the reserves to a low of US$2.265 billion in June.
The build in the NIR places the country’s central bank in a good position to control of the foreign exchange market in the months ahead, before the next period of higher inflows starts in mid-December.

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