BOJ policy rate at 0.5 per cent

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he Bank of Jamaica (BOJ) is maintaining its policy interest rate at 0.50 per cent per annum for at least another month.

The BOJ’s policy interest rate is the rate the bank offers to deposit-taking institutions on overnight placements. The decision by the BOJ to hold its policy rate unchanged is based on its continued view that monetary conditions are generally appropriate to support inflation remaining within the target of 4.0 per cent to 6.0 per cent over the next two years.

However, the BOJ has emphasised that the economic outlook for Jamaica remains highly uncertain in the context of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The BOJ, in making the announcement, said it will continue to assess incoming data and stands ready to implement other policy measures, if the need arises.

The next policy announcement will be made on August 18, 2020 at which time the BOJ will decide on whether to maintain the rate or tweak it up or down given the prevailing economic conditions.

Annual inflation at March 2020, as reported by the Statistical Institute of Jamaica, was 4.8 per cent, lower than the 6.2 per cent at December 2019 and firmly within the target range. Underlying or core inflation, which measures the change in prices excluding agricultural food and fuel prices, remained relatively low at 3.3 per cent.