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Remittances fall flat on weakened overseas economies

Sunday, August 05, 2012

Remittances to Jamaica fell flat in May, reflecting a continued slowdown of money sent home from abroad.

Total inflows were US$166.7 million, or 0.3 per cent higher than in May last year.

But a two per cent increase in remittances leaving the country meant that net remittances was 0.1 per cent higher in May than the same month in 2011.

This occurred in the context of continued economic downturn in Europe as well as a slower pace of growth in the United States.

Indeed, inflows from the UK (the second largest market from where 16 per cent of remittances originate) was 4.6 per cent lower during the month, when compared to a year earlier.

And while remittances from the US (from where 59 per cent of funds sent home from abroad comes from) was four per cent higher, the growth rate was lower than the 6.2 per cent average growth experienced in the first four months of 2012.

Remittances from Cayman was 13.8 per cent lower in May than the same month last year, while Remittances out of Canada was two per cent higher.

The growth from Canada in May also reflected a slowdown when compared to the rate of growth the first four months of the year — an average of 10.3 per cent.

Inflows through remittance companies, such as Western Union, Jamaica National Money Transfer and MoneyGram, through which 85 per cent of remittances are received, grew year on year by 1.3 per cent.

Remittances through other means, such as banks, fell by five per cent in May, when compared to the same month in 2011.

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