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Remittance tick upwards in Jamaica as transactions surge

Net remittance inflows of US$258.3 million increased by 49.0 per cent or US$85.0 million relative to June 2019, the Bank of Jamaica indicated.

A view of the Noel Nethersole statue standing in front of Bank of Jamaica in downtown Kingston, Jamaica. (Photo: Miami Herald)

Overall, the January to June 2020 period had remittance inflows totalling US$1.3 billion. Comparatively, the January to June 2019 period had remittance inflows totalling US$1.2 billion.

The largest source market of remittances to Jamaica remained the USA, whose share increased from 65.6 per cent to 69.3 per cent, over the review period. The remaining share of remittances came from Canada at 10.9 per cent, followed by UK and the Cayman Islands at 10.6 per cent and 5.4 per cent, respectively.

Net remittances to Jamaica ticked upwards by almost 50 per cent in the first half of 2020.

Jamaica’s growth rate in remittance inflows of 9.0 per cent was slightly below Mexico which registered a growth rate of 11.8 per cent in June 2020. Meanwhile, El Salvador and Guatemala registered growth rates of -11.6 per cent and -3.2 per cent, respectively.

For the similar period in 2019, Jamaica’s growth rate of 1.6 per cent was below Guatemala which registered a growth rate of 11.9 per cent. Mexico and El Salvador registered growth rates of 5.6 per cent and 2.3 per cent, respectively.

The BOJ said the June 2020 improvement is reflective of an increase in gross remittance inflows of 41.6 per cent or US$80.8 million as well as a decrease of 20.1 per cent or US$4.2 million in outflows.

The increase in gross remittance inflows was attributable to increases of 44.4 per cent and 27.1 per cent in Other Remittances and Remittance Companies, respectively.

For the quarter  April to June 2020: Net remittance inflows of US$641.9 million increased by 20.9 per cent or US$110.9 million relative to the previous corresponding period.

The BOJ outlined that the improvement was reflective of a 15.5 per cent or US$93.4 million increase in remittance inflows, further driven by a decrease of 24.3 per cent or US$17.5 million in outflows. The increase in inflows was attributable to a growth of 18.5 per cent in Remittance Companies and a marginal increase of 0.1 per cent in Other Remittances .