Money flowing...but Tight
As Christmas spending reaches fever pitch for the December 16 to 22 period, the Bank of Jamaica (BOJ) issued currency amounting to $11.2 billion, representing an increase of 19.3 per cent in the currency stock relative to December 9.
By late Christmas Eve, BOJ expected another $2.6 billion to be in circulation, bringing the total amount of notes and coins in shoppers' hands to $78 billion.
Relative to December 2013, money supply was running ahead of year-to-date inflation. The BOJ said the amount of money in circulation was 9.6 per cent more than at the same time last year.
The BOJ is recording 8.3 per cent annual inflation. This means that the stock of notes and coins is 1.3 per cent ahead of inflation. This should translate to increased spending in real terms.