168 Increase In Credit Extended to Private Businesses

The Bank of Jamaica (BOJ) is reporting a 16.8 per cent increase in credit extended by deposit-taking institutions (DTIs) to private-sector businesses and households over the 12-month period to June 2019.Newly appointed Governor, Richard Byles, says this out-turn exceeded the 12.3 per cent recorded at the end of June 2018.He was speaking at the Central Bank’s quarterly briefing on Thursday (August 29), at the BOJ in downtown Kingston.Mr. Byles, who was speaking at his first briefing since he assumed office on August 19, noted that the acceleration in private-sector credit expansion in recent months, is consistent with previous BOJ accommodative policy actions.These actions, he pointed out, have seen a reduction, by 300 basis points, on Central Bank overnight policy rates for deposit-taking institutions between June 2017 and June 2019.The latest was a 25-point reduction to 0.50 per cent, effective Wednesday (August 28).Mr. Byles said the financial system’s response to these policy signals has been “significant”, noting that “we have seen reductions in commercial banks’ local currency lending rates”.Simultaneously, he said there has been a marked uptick in the growth in financing provided by DTIs, including commercial and merchant banks and building societies, to the private sector.This, the Governor pointed out, demonstrates that the transmission of policy rates to market rates “has been working, albeit not as efficiently as we would have liked”.“While the faster pace of private-sector credit growth is a positive signal, we are of the view that this expansion in credit is still not enough, particularly in the context where domestic activity remains below the economy’s potential or capacity,” he argued.Mr. Byles said this suggests that an even faster pace of credit growth is possible without causing inflation to rise above the target of four to six per cent.“The Bank of Jamaica’s decision to lower the policy rate is, therefore, solely intended to stimulate a faster pace of expansion in private-sector credit, which will fuel increased economic activity on the part of businesses and households,” he said.Mr. Byles added that this increased economic activity will be accompanied by price pressures and, in that way, the rate cut will support inflation, which stood at 4.3 per cent in July, “returning to the centre of the target more quickly”. He was speaking at the Central Bank’s quarterly briefing on Thursday (August 29), at the BOJ in downtown Kingston. Story Highlights Newly appointed Governor, Richard Byles, says this out-turn exceeded the 12.3 per cent recorded at the end of June 2018. The Bank of Jamaica (BOJ) is reporting a 16.8 per cent increase in credit extended by deposit-taking institutions (DTIs) to private-sector businesses and households over the 12-month period to June 2019. read more

UN expert concerned at poor living conditions of Canadas indigenous

20 December 2011An independent United Nations human rights expert has asked Canada to clarify what it is doing to address the “dire” socio-economic conditions of the Attawapiskat aboriginal community, noting that many of its members live in unheated shacks or trailers, with no running water. James Anaya, the Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples, said in a news release that he has been in touch with the Canadian Government to voice his deep concern about the conditions of the Attawapiskat First Nation, which he said exemplifies the conditions of many aboriginal communities in the country.The Attawapiskat First Nation is a remote community in northern Ontario comprised of about 1,800 members. Mr. Anaya noted that the poor living conditions are particularly serious as winter approaches the area, which faces winter temperatures as low as minus 28 degrees Celsius.“The social and economic situation of the Attawapiskat seems to represent the condition of many First Nation communities living on reserves throughout Canada, which is allegedly akin to Third World conditions,” he stated.“Yet, this situation is not representative of non-aboriginal communities in Canada, a country with overall human rights indicators scoring among the top of all countries of the world.“Aboriginal communities face vastly higher poverty rights, and poorer health, education, employment rates as compared to non-aboriginal people,” said the expert.In a communication sent to Canadian authorities yesterday, Mr. Anaya asked the Government to provide details regarding official programmes in place to address the disparate social and economic conditions of First Nations communities, as well as the disparate social and economic conditions between and among First Nation communities.“I will be monitoring closely the situation of the Attawapiskat First Nation and other aboriginal communities in Canada, keeping an open dialogue with the Government and all stakeholders to promote good practices, including new laws, government programmes, and constructive agreements between indigenous peoples and states, and to implement international standards concerning the rights of indigenous peoples,” said the expert.Mr. Anaya has served as Special Rapporteur since March 2008. He reports to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva in an independent and unpaid capacity. read more