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US Dollar notes (Photo: Daily Express)

Bank of Jamaica: Remittances continue to climb

US Dollar notes (Photo: Daily Express)

New data from the Bank of Jamaica (BOJ) indicates that for November 2020, net remittance inflows of US$220.9 million represent an increase of 25.7 per cent, or US$45.2 million, over November 2019.

This increase resulted from a rise in gross remittance inflows of 18.7 per cent or US$37.5 million, further aided by a decrease of 32.0 per cent or US$7.7 million in outflows, the BOJ states.

The Bank of Jamaica in downtown Kingston, Jamaica (Photo: Jamaica Observer)

 An improvement of 23.5 per cent in inflows through remittance companies accounted for the growth in gross remittance inflows.

However, a decline in other remittances of 2.4 per cent for the month of November partially offset the increase in gross remittance inflows.

Eight-month overview

For the period April to November 2020, net remittance inflows of US$1,892.6 million indicated an increase of 30.8 per cent or US$446.2 million more than the corresponding period in the previous year. This improvement resulted from an increase of 25.2 per cent or US$410.2 million in total remittance inflows, further driven by a decline of 19.8 per cent or US$36.0 million in total remittance outflows. 

A pedestrian passes Western Union and MoneyGram International stores. (Photo: Bloomberg)

The improvement in inflows was primarily driven by an increase of 29.1 per cent in remittance companies, while other remittances recorded an increase of 5.4 per cent.

USA vs the world

The largest source market of remittances flows to Jamaica for November 2020 was the USA, whose share increased to 68.1 per cent, from 64.2 per cent recorded for November 2019.

Other source countries which contributed a notable share of remittances for the month were the UK at 11.6 per cent, followed by Canada and the Cayman Islands at 10.2 per cent and 6.1 per cent, respectively. 

Canada contributed the third-highest share of remittance for November 2020.
(Photo: Investopedia)

For the period, January to November 2020 Jamaica’s growth rate in remittance inflows of 19.3 per cent was higher than that of Mexico, which registered a growth rate of 12.1 per cent. 

Guatemala and El Salvador also registered increases of roughly 5.9 per cent and 3.5 per cent, respectively, for the period. 

Overall, the January to November 2020 period had remittance inflows totalling US$2,603.6 million.