The Bank of Jamaica (BOJ) is forecasting a $22-billion or 13 per cent increase in total currency to be in circulation for December 2020, relative to November.
In a statement on December 14, the BOJ said the sum projected at the end of December is $190.9 billion, which would be consistent with heightened expenditure associated with the Christmas season, as against $168.9 billion recorded for November 2020.
Currency in circulation between December 1 and 11 amounted to $6.1 billion or three per cent.
This was higher than the $0.5 billion recorded for the corresponding period last year.
The Central Bank said the December projection represents a nominal 28.2 per cent increase, compared to 11.5 per cent for the corresponding period in 2019.
Additionally, the BOJ said the forecast is below the five-year average growth rate of 17.3 per cent for the month of December.
The Bank advised that total currency in the hands of the public and in the vaults of financial institutions, as at December 11, totalled $175 billion.
“This high stock of currency may reflect the desires of deposit-taking institutions and individuals to hold precautionary cash balances amidst the uncertainties occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic,” the BOJ’s statement indicated.