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Opposition wants Government to respond to foreign currency market woes

Thursday, July 11, 2019

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — The Opposition People's National Party (PNP) says it notes with concern that the foreign exchange market is once again experiencing an acute shortage of supply.

It said as a result, major businesses in the real sector have been unable to source foreign currency from authorised dealers for the past two weeks.

“At times like these the Bank of Jamaica must not delay intervening to restore calm to the foreign exchange market. The current arrangements governing the market also need to be reformed, so that the needs of the real sector are not subordinated to the interests of the financial sector,” Opposition Spokesman on Finance Mark Golding said.

The Bank of Jamaica yesterday reported that the value of the Jamaican dollar slipped to J$135.48/US$1.00 as at close of business, a depreciation in value of over 3 per cent in the first 10 days of July.

Golding said the frequent volatility over the past year is undermining business confidence and damaging Jamaica's economic performance and prospects.

He added that this is evidenced by the fall in the Business Confidence Index reported this week, which cites fluctuations in the foreign-exchange rate as a key determinant of the fall in business confidence.

He also said a majority of firms indicated that this volatility is undermining their ability to make long-term plans and that firms willing to invest in new plants and equipment have also declined.

“The Government needs to respond now to this situation, which it has allowed to continue for too long, and avoid it leading to further damage to confidence, growth and the overall economy,” Golding stressed.

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