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PNP calls for clarity on the Government's exchange rate strategy

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — The Opposition People's National Party (PNP) is calling on the Government to be more open and transparent in its current strategy for the Jamaican currency.

The Opposition today said it is concerned that, at a time when, according to the party, there has been sudden and quite rapid depreciation of the Jamaican dollar, the Bank of Jamaica (BOJ) has been purchasing US dollars in the market, putting further pressure on the Jamaican currency.

The Opposition also noted that businesses with US dollar loans and accounts payable will already have suffered unexpected exchange rate losses in the past few weeks, which will in turn affect their pricing and other business decisions.

The party expressed concern as to the likely impact on consumers whose incomes are fixed, especially at a time when world market prices for oil have been rising and this is already being felt in higher gas and electricity prices.

Opposition Spokesman for Finance and Planning Mark Golding stated that this instability is occurring at a time when the public has been repeatedly told that all targets under the IMF programme are being consistently met, including the target for non-borrowed reserves.

He added that amidst the current slide, the silence of the Government is unacceptable.

Golding said the party is now calling on the Government to explain the reasons behind the recent actions of the Bank of Jamaica, and to explain in clear terms the Government's current strategy in relation to the management of the Jamaican dollar.

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