Consumers expected to spend $152.4 billion in Jamaica for December

The Bank of Jamaica (BOJ) says it is projecting that consumers will spend an estimated J$152.4 billion during the month of December.

The Bank of Jamaica in downtown Kingston.

The Central Bank said that the figure represents an increase of J$2.4 billion in total currency in circulation as compared to the previous month and “in keeping with heightened activities associated with the festive Christmas season.

In a statement, the BOJ said the projection represents a 14.1 per cent increase, compared to 20.4 per cent for the corresponding period in 2018, noting also that the forecast is generally consistent with the five-year average growth of 17.6 per cent for the month of December.

Projected real growth

According to the BOJ, net currency issued between December 1 and 13 this year stood at J$1.2 billion (0.9 per cent), which was one billion dollars lower than the corresponding period last year.

It said also that the stock of currency in the hands of the public as also the vaults of financial institutions, as at December 13, totalled J$131.2 billion.

“When the forecasted change in the general level of consumer prices is taken into account, the projected real growth in currency for the year is 8.3 per cent, which is much lower than the real growth of 17.5 per cent for the previous year,” the BOJ’s statement said.