The headline inflation in Jamaica has fallen down to 6.6 percent in July 2023 as compared to the recorded peak inflation rate of 11.8 in April 2022 even as the Bank of Jamaica (BOJ) is projecting this trend to continue during the last three months of this year and for most of 2024.
“Contributing to this significant general reduction since April 2022 were declines in the key drivers of inflation such as the price of grains, shipping costs, and inflation expectations, as well as Bank of Jamaica’s tight monetary policy,” said Governor, Richard Byles, during the Central Bank’s quarterly monetary policy media briefing recently in Kingston.
The July inflation out-turns was slightly higher than those for May and June 2023. This happened due to dry conditions at the start of the year and, more recently, hikes in the prices of domestic agricultural products.
He noted that there have been ongoing increases in the price of meals consumed away from home, and the first-round effect of the adjustment in the national minimum wage was recorded in the June 2023 CPI (Consumer Price Index) had a significant impact.
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“Notwithstanding this uptick, inflation is forecasted to generally decelerate to the Bank’s target range of four to six per cent by the December 2023 quarter and, with the exception of a few months in 2024, remain there,” he added.
The inflation will remain little above the target range for August and September due to agricultural prices and education costs, as well as wage pressures.
The core inflation, which excludes food and fuel prices from the CPI, continues to fall, aided by the Bank’s management of the exchange rate and tightening of Jamaican dollar liquidity.
He said the annual core inflation rate in July 2023 was 5.2 percent, and that it has consistently fallen over the past 10 months.