US Dollar notes (Photo: Daily Express)

Remittances to Jamaica climb 39.5% in December

US Dollar notes (Photo: Daily Express)

The Bank of Jamaica (BOJ) has turned in final data for December 2020 indicating that net remittance inflows of US$282.4 million represented an increase of 39.5 per cent, or US$79.9 million, relative to December 2019.

This growth came from an increase in gross remittance inflows of 35.3 per cent or US$78.7 million, aided by a decrease of 6.2 per cent or US$1.2 million in outflows.

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

Meanwhile, the BOJ attributed the increase in gross remittance inflows to an improvement of 42.7 per cent in inflows via remittance companies as well as an increase in other remittances of 0.7 per cent for the month of December.

For the period April to December 2020, net remittance inflows of US$2,175.0 million reflected a 31.9 per cent or US$526.1-million increase relative to the corresponding period in the year before. 

An increase of 26.4 per cent or US$488.9 million in total remittance inflows and a decline of 18.5 per cent or US$37.2 million in total remittance outflows accounted for the improvement in net remittance inflows.

Source of inflows

Inflows from remittance companies rose by 30.8 per cent while other remittances recorded an increase of 4.8 per cent. 

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

For December 2020, the largest source market of remittance flows to Jamaica was from the USA, which accounted for 67.1 per cent of total inflows, up from 63.2 per cent recorded in December 2019. 

Other source countries which contributed a notable share of remittances for the month were the UK at 12.7 per cent, followed by Canada and the Cayman Islands at 10.1 per cent and 6.0 per cent, respectively.

Highest growth rate in LatAm, Caribbean

For the calendar year 2020 Jamaica’s growth rate in remittance inflows of 20.8 percent was higher than that of Mexico, which registered a growth rate of 12.7 per cent.

The United Kingdom contributed 12.7 per cent to overall remittances to Jamaica in December 2020. (File photo)

Guatemala and El Salvador also registered growth for the period, with increases of roughly 7.5 per cent and 4.8 per cent respectively. 

Overall, the January to December 2020 period had remittance inflows totalling US$2,905.0 million, January to December 2019 period which had remittance inflows totalling US$2,415.1 million.