Sun | May 26, 2024

BOJ welcomes decline in inflation, to closely monitor numbers

Published:Tuesday | April 16, 2024 | 1:50 PM
File photo.

The Bank of Jamaica (BOJ) has welcomed the fall in headline inflation for March.

Data released by the Statistical Institute of Jamaica (STATIN) on Monday indicate that the 12-month point-to-point inflation (March 2023 to March 2024) was 5.6 per cent, which is within the BOJ's target range of 4 to 6 per cent.

The central bank notes that this was 0.6 percentage points lower than the 6.2 per cent point-to-point inflation rate for the period February 2023 to February 2024 and also lower than its most recent forecast.

It notes that this is the second consecutive month of decline in headline inflation, which is a positive development, and the first time that the inflation outturn was within the bank's target range since October 2023.

The analysis of the inflation numbers shows that the downward movement in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for the month of March 2024 was largely influenced by a 1.8 per cent decline in the index for the heaviest weighted division, Food and Non-Alcoholic Beverages.

The BOJ says while it had anticipated a decline for this division, the contraction was larger than expected and reflected reductions in the prices of some agricultural produce such as tomato, yam, sweet potato, cabbage and carrot.

The bank says its Monetary Policy Committee will continue to closely watch the inflation numbers and other incoming data over the ensuing months to assess the extent to which the current level of inflation will be sustained, before making a determination on whether to change its monetary policy stance.

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