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PNP calls for action to ‘calm’ forex market

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PNP calls for action to ‘calm’ forex market

Thursday, January 31, 2019

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — The Opposition People’s National Party (PNP) is today calling on the Minister of Finance and the Governor of the Bank of Jamaica (BoJ) to immediately address what they say is a “continuing severe shortage of supply of US Dollars which has plagued the local foreign exchange market over the past three weeks” resulting in a rapid devaluation of the Jamaican Dollar.

“For this to be happening during the height of the Winter tourist season is unusual and perplexing, and there has been no clear and definitive explanation from either the Government or the BoJ as to what is causing this shortage of US Dollars and the rapid devaluation, said Opposition Spokesman for Finance & Planning Mark Golding.

“There were dealers in the market today selling at J$138 to US$1.00 when just three weeks ago the rate was in the J$127 range. Businesses and consumers are anxious and need to know what is going on,” Golding added.

Golding charged that “businesses are unable to find the foreign exchange to pay their overseas suppliers, and this is adversely affecting their credit arrangements. And at these exchange rate levels, prices of imported goods can be expected to adjust, to the detriment of consumers.”

According to Golding, this is happening again after the BoJ has recently announced that Jamaica has breached the lower end of the Government’s inflation target, for the second time this fiscal year.

“It is a repetition of what took place in June/July last year. In the absence of any explanation from the monetary authorities, I once again I ask the question, are these repeated bouts of exchange rate volatility what Jamaica must expect as an unwelcome side effect of the BoJ adopting inflation targeting as its primary objective?” the Opposition finance spokesman stated.

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