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The Western Union App (Photo: Jamaicans.com)

Jamaica’s remittance uptick continues in 2021

The Western Union App (Photo: Jamaicans.com)

Jamaica is possibly on a course to repeat the increase in remittances seen in 2020, which reached a historic high of US$2.91 billion.

Bank of Jamaica (BOJ) data collated for the month of January shows that net remittance inflows of US$224.4 million indicated an increase of 39 per cent or US$62.9 million over January 2020.

Bank of Jamaica in downtown Kingston, Jamaica (File photo)

The bank credits the increase to a rise in gross remittance inflows of 32.7 per cent or US$59.4 million, along with a decline in outflows of 17.3 per cent or US$3.5 million. 

For the month of January, the increase in gross remittance inflows stemmed from a 36.8 per cent increase in inflows from remittance companies as well as an increase in other remittances of 5.2 per cent.

Between January and April, net remittance inflows of US$2,399.4 million represented 32.5 per cent or US$589.0 million uptick relative to the pevious corresponding period. 

This improvement resulted from an increase of 27.0 per cent or US$548.3 million in total remittance inflows, further aided by a fall off of 18.4 per cent or US$40.7 million in total remittance outflows.

Source of funds

Canadian dollar notes (Photo: Investopedia)

The central bank said the USA remained the largest source market of remittance flows to Jamaica for January 2021. 

Remittances from the USA accounted for 69.8 per cent of total inflows, up from 65.2 per cent recorded in January 2020. 

Other source countries which contributed a notable share of remittances for the month were the UK with 11.9 per cent, Canada and the Cayman Islands with 8.9 per cent and 5.6 per cent, respectively. 

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

For the month of January 2021, Jamaica’s 32.7 per cent growth in remittance inflows is higher than that of Mexico, which registered a growth rate of 27.3 per cent. 

Guatemala and El Salvador also registered growth for the period, with increases of roughly 8.7 per cent and 6.6 per cent respectively.