More price increases expected as currency continues to slide

Brian Pengelley, JMA President

More price increases are on the horizon for consumers as the Jamaican dollar continues to lose value against the American currency. The Jamaica Manufacturers' Association (JMA) has admitted that its members are struggling to absorb the rising cost of raw materials with the slide in the value of the dollar and will have to pass on some of the adjustments.

At the close of trading last Friday, the US currency was being sold for a record J$104.05. That is up from an average J$93.45 in January.

Brian Pengelley, JMA president, told RJR News that the expectation is that the currency will continue to slide. Mr. Pengelley explained that this will have implications for consumers.

“It is pushing up the cost of raw material…every time the dollar it’s going to have an impact at the consumer level, manufacturers have to make adjustments, you can’t keep absorbing the cost,” said Mr. Pengelley.

He said the manufacturers have been running on thin margins for a while and at some point they can’t continue to absorb the cost anymore.

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