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Shaw announces special group to help BOJ halt slide of J$

Published:Tuesday | November 1, 2016 | 11:19 PM
Audley Shaw ... "Greed and speculation are driving the rate at which people are stocking up on US dollars".

 Jovan Johnson, Parliamentary Reporter

Finance Minister Audley Shaw has announced that a group of stakeholders will be working with the Bank of Jamaica (BOJ) to address the slide in the value of the Jamaican dollar.

There has been mounting concern about the rate of the slide of the currency now at $129.10 to US$1 despite repeated interventions by the Central Bank.

In Parliament this afternoon, Shaw announced that the special working group will meet with the BOJ on Friday.

According to Shaw, greed and speculation are driving the rate at which people are stocking up on US dollars.

He argued that there is no other reason because Jamaica has over US$3 billion in reserves and there was the assurance of continued support from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Shaw has been under pressure to stem the sliding dollar especially given his stridency while in Opposition.

Between the start of the current fiscal year in April and October, the Jamaican dollar has lost almost six per cent in value.

Finance Minister, Audley Shaw, says the economy grew by 2.3 per cent in the last quarter, the highest for any quarter since 2002.

He made the announcement in the House of Representatives this afternoon as he spoke to the continued depreciation in the value of the Jamaican dollar to the United States dollar.

Much of the growth came from the agriculture sector which Shaw said grew by 28.8 per cent.

Broken down, domestic agriculture increased by 43 per cent while traditional agriculture which includes banana and sugar, grew by 21 per cent.