Remittances up

Remittances up

30% jump over the last six months despite COVID-19

BY DURRANT PATE
Observer Business Writer

Sunday, November 29, 2020

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Despite the uncertainties caused by COVID-19, Jamaicans overseas are sending home more money to their loved ones, evidenced by the latest Bank of Jamaica (BOJ) Remittances Bulletin.

The Bulletin for September 2020 showed a 30 per cent jump in remittances for the last six months reporting period (April-September), as net remittance inflows amounted to US$1.41billion, representing an increase of US$325.9 million relative to the previous corresponding period. This improvement emanated from a 24.9 per cent or US$305.1 million increase in remittance inflows.

This was further driven by a decrease of 15.2 per cent or US$20.8 million in outflows. The increase in inflows resulted from a growth of 28.6 per cent in remittance companies and an increase of 5.9 per cent in other remittances

For the month of September alone, the data showed net remittance inflows of US$239.2 million, up by 38.4 per cent or US$66.3 million relative to September 2019.

According to the BOJ Remittances Bulletin for September 2020, “this improvement is largely reflective of an increase in gross remittance inflows of 34.4 per cent or US$66.5 million partly offset by an increase 0.9 per cent or US$0.2 million in outflows.”

The increase in gross remittance inflows was driven by an increase of 39.5 per cent coming from remittance companies and 6.2 per cent rise in inflows from other remittances.

SOURCE OF REMITTANCE INFLOWS

The largest source market of remittances flows to Jamaica for September 2020 was from the United States of America, whose share increased to 67.4 per cent up from the 64.8 per cent recorded for September 2019. Other source countries, which contributed a notable share of remittances for the month, were Canada at 12.0 per cent, followed by United Kingdom with 10.6 per cent and the Cayman Islands at 6.3 per cent.

As it regards the comparison with other countries, Jamaica's growth rate in remittance inflows of 17.7 per cent was higher than that of Mexico, which registered a growth rate of 11.2 per cent during the period January to September 2020.

Meanwhile, Guatemala registered a lower growth rate of roughly 4.0 per cent while inflows to El Salvador increased by 0.8 per cent.

Overall, the January to September 2020 period had remittance inflows totalling US$2.09 billion.


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