NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Foreign currency outflows for the month of October rose by just over $265 million, driven primarily by credit and debit card transactions, according to the Central Bank
The Central Bank in its Monthly Economic and Financial Developments Report for October noted that provisional data on foreign currency sales for current account transactions revealed that outflows rose by $265.2 million to $737.8 million in October, relative to the same period in 2021.
“Leading this outturn, payments for “other” current items—primarily credit and debit card transactions—increased by $135.6 million,” the bank said.
“Further, outflows for non-oil and oil imports grew by $73.5 million and by $42.6 million, respectively. In addition, transfer payments advanced by $6.9 million, factor income remittances, by $3.9 million, and travel-related transactions, by $2.7 million.”
The regulator also noted that in line with the seasonal rise in foreign currency demand, external reserves decreased by $187.6 million to $3,017.8 million in October, exceeding the $129.3 million reduction in the same period last year.
“Underlying this development, the Central Bank’s net sales to commercial banks widened to $96.1 million, from $57.4 million in the preceding year,” it continued.
“Likewise, the Bank’s net foreign currency sales to the public sector expanded to $95.0 million, from $71.9 million in 2021. Further, commercial banks net sales to their customers extended to $99.7 million from $51.6 million in the prior year.”
The regulator also noted that average domestic consumer price inflation—as measured by the All Bahamas Retail Price Index—increased to 5.1 percent during the twelve months to September, from two percent in the same period of 2021, reflective of the pass-through effects of higher global oil prices.