Saturday 28 March, 2020

Banks and building societies remittances climb by double-digit

The latest remittance report from the Bank of Jamaica (BOJ), which captures inflows for the January to September 2019 period shows that the rate of increase of remittance inflows for Jamaica is occurring at a slower pace than some South and Central American nations.

Nonetheless, for Jamaica, the category of “other remittances” grew by double digits for the period, while inflows to remittance companies remained flat.

“Other remittances are inflows that come over the counter at commercial banks and inflows to accounts at building societies,” a BOJ representative explained.

That segment has been increasing in the range of 17 and 28 per cent.

Regionally, Jamaica’s growth rate of 2.4 per cent was below Guatemala’s, which registered a growth rate of 13.5 per cent.

Mexico and El Salvador registered growth rates of 8.9 per cent and 3.1 per cent, respectively.

Overall, the January to September 2019 period had remittance inflows to Jamaica totalling US$1778.6 million.

Net remittance inflows for Jamaica for the nine-month period US$1580.4 million, increased by 1.7 per cent or US$27.1 million relative to the corresponding period.

The increase was inclusive of a 2.4 per cent or US$41.8 million climb in remittance inflows partially offset by an increase of eight per cent or US$14.7 million in outflows.

Increase in inflows was attributable to an increase of 17.1 per cent in other remittances, while remittance companies remained relatively flat.

For the September quarter, net remittance inflows of US$172.9 million increased by 4.4 per cent or US$7.3 million relative to September 2018.

The increase was reflective of an increase in gross remittance inflows of 3.3 per cent or US$6.2 million along with a decrease of 5.4 per cent or US$1.2 million in outflows, the BOJ said in its report.

For the period, the increase in gross remittance inflows was attributable to an increase of 28.8 per cent in “Other Remittances”, partly offset by a decrease of 0.2 per cent in remittance companies.

As customary, the largest source market of remittances to Jamaica in September 2019 remained the US, whose share increased to 64.8 per cent, from 63.1 per cent recorded September 2018.

The remaining share of remittances for September 2019 came from Canada at 11.6 per cent, followed by UK and the Cayman Islands at 11.2 per cent and 7.2 per cent respectively.

In 2018, total remittances to the island stood at US$ 2,345 million.

Despite the anaemic growth trend,  the analyst site trading, is projecting that remittances in Jamaica is expected to reach US$2.5 billion by the end of 2020.

Trading Economics global macro models and analysts expectations are that, in the long-term, the Jamaican remittances are projected to trend around US$2.6 in 2021, according to econometric models.

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