BOJ Governor cautions that this level of intervention is unsustainable.



Bank of Jamaica Governor, Richard Byles, says the central bank could end up selling more than 1-billion US dollars to the market by the end of this fiscal year, in an effort to meet the shortfall of US dollars caused by the closure of the tourism industry and lower remittances.

However, he cautions that this level of intervention is not sustainable.

Mr. Byles was speaking at the BOJ’s quarterly media conference today.

The Jamaican dollar is rapidly approaching an unprecedented 150 to 1 US dollar, after losing 9-per cent in value since the island’s first COVID-19 case on March 10.

This is despite the BOJ pumping 300-million US dollars into the market already.

The Central Bank Governor warns that we must pace ourselves.

Now 1-billion US dollars would wipe out nearly a third of the country’s reserves.

Jamaica now has over 3-billion US dollars in reserves, enough to continue importing supplies for about twenty weeks.

Add to that, the half a billion just received from the IMF, and Mr. Byles says the country should be able to weather the storm.

The BOJ Governor says by the end of this week, there should be an extra 240-million US dollars on the local market.

It’s to be seen what impact this will have on the exchange rate.

Meanwhile, BOJ Governor Richard Byles says they’re expecting the virus to be largely contained by the end of June.

Mr. Byles says the BOJ is projecting Jamaica will return to growth by the first half of next year.

Richard Byles, Governor of the Bank of Jamaica.

He was speaking at the BOJ’s quarterly media conference this morning.