The abrupt depreciation that the lempira has registered against the dollar of up to three cents a day in recent weeks has alarmed economic sectors in Honduras, while demanding explanations for this trend from the Economic Cabinet, especially authorities of the Central Bank of Honduras ( BCH).
For the banker Jorge Bueso Arias, the recent variations in the Reference Exchange Rate (RER) are inexplicable. The source warned that since August 13, the course of sustained revaluation of the currency changed suddenly and began to devalue at the rate of 2 or 3 US cents per day, in such a way that according to its estimates, in almost a month the lempira it has been devalued by 34 cents.
There is no valid explanation for such a devaluation because none of the indicators that the BCH uses for these types of variations have changed, he stated.
“Neither the internal and external inflation rate and above all the amount of foreign currency reserves held by the Central Bank have changed,” said Arias, to later refer that international reserves exceed 9.2 billion dollars and cover more than 8 months of importation.
Likewise, the government received what can be called a dividend from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), for about 340 million dollars, which converted to national currency adds up to 8.4 billion lempiras.
For her part, the former president of the Honduran College of Economists (CHE), Liliana Castillo, warned that the accelerated depreciation of the lempira against the dollar would have a strong impact on the national economy.
“The depreciation of the lempira will not only affect the value of fuel, but also the import of consumer goods, raw materials for intermediate products and capital,” Castillo estimated.
“This devaluation will have a strong impact on the national economy, but it will generate more income for the government, because as the currency depreciates, the cost of products will increase, especially those imported where most use fuel or electricity,” he concluded.
Figures from the BCH confirm that, at the end of August 2021, the balance of Official Reserve Assets (ARO) was $ 9,264.0 million. The coverage of the International Reserves, according to the methodology of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), stood at 8.2 months of imports of goods and services. Meanwhile, the balance of the Net International Reserves (NIR) was $ 8,962.7 million, $ 813.9 million higher than the one observed at the end of 2020; behavior attributed to the net purchase of foreign currency for $ 1,202.5 million, other net income of $ 130.8 million and donations for $ 15.7 million; offset by fuel imports for $ 301.8 million and net debt service for $ 233.3 million.