Jamaica’s net remittance inflows have decreased by more than eight per cent to US$159.7 million. In April alone, the decrease was calculated at US$15.4 million.
Many pundits projected that remittance flows for April would decline with several local remittance companies reporting, in late April, a decline of 10 to 15 per cent in inflows, compared to declines of as much as 20 per cent earlier in the month.
Finance and Public Service Minister Dr Nigel Clarke indicated in late April that remittances into Jamaica went down by an average of 15 per cent in the preceding six weeks.
However, the final figures have been released by the Bank of Jamaica (BOJ), which reports that the drop in net remittances was due in part to a decline in gross remittance inflows of 9.8 per cent or US$19.9 million. This decline was partially offset by a decrease of 16.9 per cent or US$4.5 million in outflows.
Data from the BOJ’s latest remittance report for April 2020 showed that the decline in gross remittance inflows for the month was attributable to decreases of 2.3 per cent and 11.3 per cent in other remittances and remittance companies, respectively. For the period January to April 2020, Jamaica’s overall remittance totalled US$747.68 million.
Net remittance inflows for the same period amounted to US$663.6 million, representing a decline of 0.8 per cent or US$5.5 million relative to the previous corresponding period last year. The decrease was reflective of a 1.2 per cent or US$9.3 million drop in remittance inflows, partially offset by a dip of 4.4 per cent or US$3.8 million in outflows.
The decrease in inflows was due to a decline of 1.7 per cent in remittance companies, which was partially offset by an increase of 1.2 per cent in other remittances.
SOURCE OF REMITTANCE INFLOWS
The largest source market of remittances to Jamaica in April 2020 remained the USA, whose share increased to 77.9 per cent, from 65.8 per cent recorded in April 2019. The remaining share of remittances for April 2019 came from Canada at 10.7 per cent, followed by the UK and the Cayman Islands at 9.0 per cent and 0.2 per cent, respectively.
Regarding other countries, Jamaica’s remittance growth rate of minus 1.2 per cent was below Mexico, which registered a growth rate of 13.7 per cent, followed by Guatemala, which registered a growth rate of 10.1 per cent. El Salvador saw its remittance rate drop to minus 9.7 per cent.