- GOJ’s fiscal outturn YTD for the 2020/21 fiscal year recorded revenues above budget by $1.07B and expenditures below budget by $3.64B as at November 30, 2020. The YTD fiscal balance was reported at negative $76.49B vs. budget of negative $81.2B.
- The Jamaican economy declined by 10.7 per cent in the third quarter of 2020 when compared to the similar quarter of 2019. This was due to declines in both the Services and Goods Producing Industries of 13.1 per cent and 3.5 per cent respectively.
- The BOJ policy (overnight lending) rate remained unchanged at 0.50% in December since its last reduction (from 0.75%) in August 2019. The central bank’s decision to hold the policy rate is based on its assessment that inflation will continue to trend within the bank’s target of 4 – 6 % over the next two years.
- BOJ in a press release, announced that the economy is expected to contract within the range of 10 per cent to 12 per cent in FY2020/21 before partially recovering within the range of 3 per cent to 6 per cent in FY2021/22. The predictions are based on a continued adverse impact from Covid-19 economic conditions.
- The Jamaican dollar gained $4.13 against the US$ during the month to end at US$1: J$142.6493. For calendar 2020, the JAD lost $10.08 or 7.60% against the USD.
- The Net International Reserve (NIR) increased by US$163.37M to US$3,126.13M in December. This represented 38.81 weeks of goods and services imports.
- Inflation for the month of November 2020 was 0.6 per cent. For the calendar year-to-date (11 months), the rate was 5 percent and the fiscal year-to-date was 3.7 per cent. The point to point rate (year over year) was 4.3 percent.
- The Jamaica Stock Exchange main index ended December at 395,614.91 points, a decrease of 3,961.18 points or 0.99% over November. For calendar 2020, the index has lost 22.42%.
- Crude oil price increased by US$3.18 or 7.01% during December to US$48.52 per barrel.
- The US economy lost 140,000 jobs in December. The rate of unemployment remained unchanged at 6.7%. The decrease in the labour market reflects the recent increase in Covid-19 cases and efforts to contain the pandemic. Job losses in leisure and hospitality and in private education were partially offset by gains in professional and business services, retail trade, and construction.
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