Jamaica’s High Inflation

Jamaica’s inflation rate is one of the highest in the world and currently stands as the highest in the Caribbean.

That’s according to information compiled by the data tracking website trading-economics dot-com.

There are 193 countries which have membership in the United Nations.

Trading Economics compiles official data from 185 of these countries.

The website uses figures provided by each country’s official statistics office.

The source listed for Jamaica is the Statistical Institute of Jamaica, STATIN.

According to both STATIN and Trading Economics, inflation in Jamaica between July 2013 and July 2014 was 9-percent.

This places Jamaica in the top ten-percent of countries with the highest inflation.

Only 19 countries in the world, and none in the Caribbean, had inflation rates higher than 9-percent.

Venezuela was the highest, with a whopping 61-percent inflation for the period.

There have been deadly street protests in Venezuela this year against inflation, and other social conditions.

North Korea, a dictatorship, is next highest at 55-percent; followed by Sudan, a country still recovering from war and the secession of South Sudan, at 47-percent.

The only other country in Latin America and the Caribbean with higher inflation than Jamaica is Argentina, at 10-point-9 percent.

Argentina has been plagued by a massive debt crisis and defaulted on more than half-a-billion U-S dollars worth of debt last month.

In the Caribbean, Jamaica’s 9-percent inflation easily tops the list.

Second is Cuba at 5.5percent and Haiti at 4.2percent.

Inflation in Trinidad and Tobago between July 2013 and July 2014 was 3.5percent.

In Barbados, it was 1.9percent for the year, compared with Jamaica’s inflation outturn for the month of July alone, 1.4percent.

Guyana had the lowest inflation in the region, at just 0-point-9 percent.

The comparisons come a week after comments by Governor of the Bank of Jamaica, Brian Wynter, that the Jamaican economy is demonstrating unprecedented resilience to inflationary shocks.

Among the catalysts for Jamaica’s inflation are the 24-percent depreciation in the exchange rate over the past two years, as well as the 25-percent increase in bus and taxi fares last September.

According to data from STATIN, between 2002 and 2014, inflation in Jamaica averaged 10-point-9 percent, with an all time high in 2008 of 26.5percent.

As such, Jamaica’s current 9-percent inflation is indeed an improvement over the past several years.