Jamaica’s Prime Minister Andrew Holness has described the depreciation of the Jamaican dollar as “growing pains”, indicating that a review of previous instances points to “very poor fundamentals of the economy”.

“I can well understand it because from a psychological perspective….the country has long valued its progress, valued itself in US dollars and when there is a devaluation the response is always one of fear, sometimes panic.

“It is quite understandable, but I think it behoves me to say to the nation that we are in a new era. We are in a new economic dispensation and the transition to that economic dispensation will have these kinds of what I will describe as growing pains.”

According to the Jamaica Observer, the Jamaican dollar over the past few weeks has seen a significant decline in value against the United States (US) currency, trading at $136.44 to one US dollar on August 8, in comparison to $121.70 to one US dollar in February.

“That’s a 12 per cent depreciation,” said Holness, who was speaking at the Prime Minister’s Quarterly Press Briefing yesterday.

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