Stevian Simmonds reports.

The Bank of Jamaica, BOJ says there was an additional $14.7 billion dollars in circulation in the Jamaican economy for the week leading up to the Christmas Holidays.

That’s according to new information from the Bank of Jamaica this afternoon.

The central bank is also expecting a 17 percent increase in total currency in circulation for December.

 As the Jamaican saying goes “Money a run!”

According to the Central Bank for the week of December 16  to December 20 it issued net currency amounting to $14.7 billion.

That represents an increase of 11.2 percent in the currency stock for the week.

This was above the 11 billion dollars or 9.8 percent increase in the stock for a similar period in 2018.

The BOJ says the net currency issue for the review week translated to a net increase of just under 16 billion dollars.

That’s a 12.2 percent increase in the currency stock for the month-to- December 20 2019.

The Central Bank says the increase was broadly in line with the Bank’s projection for an expansion of 11.5 percent for the period.

It’s also consistent with the net currency issue of 11.9 percent for the corresponding period in 2018.

Meanwhile the BOJ says as at December 20, the stock of currency was just under 146 billion dollars.

This represents an annual nominal growth of 18.5 percent, relative to 15.4 percent at the corresponding period in 2018.

The Central Bank says when the forecasted change inflation is taken into account, the estimated real growth in currency for the period is 12-point-3 per cent.

The BOJ says this is largely in line with the real growth of 12.6 percent for the same period of the previous year.

Earlier this month the BOJ projected that the currency stock is projected to increase in December 2019 by just over 22 billion to approximately 152 billion.

That’s a 17.2 percent increase.

Meanwhile, Financial Analyst, Dennis Chung, says the increase in currency circulation suggests greater buoyancy in the economy and a better performing private sector.

However, he says this may not necessarily translate to more money in the pockets of the average Jamaican.

Speaking with Nationwide News this afternoon, Mr. Chung says he’s concerned that the economy is rather sluggish with few prospects for improvement in 2020.

Both agriculture and mining took severe hits this year reducing the country’s growth prospects significantly.

This was predicated on poor weather conditions and the temporary shutdown of the bauxite alumina plant, Alpart for upgrades.

Mr. Chung says the remaining major engine of growth is tourism, which he feels is being held back due to issues of law and order.