Remittances to Jamaica slip

Jamaica’s Central Bank in downtown Kingston

Remittance inflows to Jamaica in July 2023 amount to US$303 million and represent a decline of 0.09 percent or US$2.7 million in comparison to July 2022 and is the 4th month of decline for the year to date, according to data released by the country’s Central Bank.
For the January to July 2023 period, remittance inflows to Jamaica amount to US$1,952 million, representing a decline of 0.4 percent compared to January to July 2022 when US$1,959 came into the country. Notwithstanding the decline for the year to date, the country is on track to match total inflows in 2022 of US$3.44 billion barring any major negative developments.

Remittances tracking 2022 inflows

Remittance inflows to Jamaica for the first half of 2023 are marginally behind intakes for 2022 with $1.64 billion being taken in, 0.3 percent less than for the same period in 2022, with June slipping 0.7 percent to $286 million below the $288 million collected for June last year.
The data for the half year suggests that the total of US$3.44 billion collected in 2022 is likely to be within reach this year if the current trend continues. In 2019 gross remittance inflows were $2.4 billion, which is a billion dollars less than was collected in 2022.
According to the Bank of Jamaica, the entity that compiles the data, remittances from the USA account for 69.8 percent of total flows, down from 70.7 percent in June 2022. Other source countries with a notable share are Canada at 10.5 percent, followed by the UK and the Cayman Islands at 10.0 percent and 5.8 percent, respectively.

Remittance inflows rise for Jamaica

Remittance inflows into Jamaica continue to track close to the 2022 flows, with a slight reduction year to date, but inflows for May 2023 rose 2.4 percent over last year after a US$7 million increase to US$290 million, data out of the country’s central bank show and that was well up on the $272 million pulled in during April this year.
Inflows for the year to date are down marginally by 0.2 percent to US$1.36 billion compared to the same period in 2022.
The continued strong inflows seem tied to the robust economic activity in the country’s primary source – the United States of America, which accounted for 70 percent of the inflows.

Jamaica’s remittance inflows drop

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Remittance inflows to Jamaica for April 2023 fell by US$17 million or 5.8 percent to US$272 million, but inflows for the year to date are down marginally by 0.9 percent or US$4.4 million over the similar period in 2022 to US$1.07 billion.
April’s decline could be due to the Easter period falling earlier in April this year compared to that of 2022 that was in the middle of the month as such, some inflows may have taken place in March this year.
Remittances amount to 95 percent of tourism inflows in 2022 compared with 167 percent in 2021.

Jamaica’s NIR hits new record

Jamaica Net International Reserves surged to a record monthly close in March, to US$4.15 billion after increasing by $221 million in the month and by $66 million in February, surpassing the highest monthly close in December 2021 of $4 billion.
Reserves fell by $111 million in January to $3.87 billion after a build up to $3.98 billion. The increase in March was accompanied by buoyant foreign exchange inflows in the banking system that resulted in an appreciation of the Jamaica dollar from just over $155 to the US dollar in most of February to a low of $150.9 at the end of March.
The buildup in the reserves would be due to a strong rebound in tourism traffic above the 2019 levels reopening on Jamalco Alumina plant continued strong inflows in remittances which are US$1 billion more per year than in 2019 on an annual basis.
The increase for March is in keeping with’s forecast in December that the NIR could hit a record for the first quarter of 2023. “With tourist arrivals expected to jump sharply in the first four months of 2023 over 2022 which was about a third lower than in 2019, inflows could be up some fifty percent over 2022 from that sector and could boost the NIR for the first quarter.”

Steady remittance inflows for Jamaica

Remittance inflows to Jamaica dipped by US$7.4 million or 2.9 percent in February this year compared with the same period in 2022, thus reversing the 2 percent increase enjoyed in January and resulting in a small decline for the two months, data out of Bank of Jamaica shows.
The decline in February of gross receipts represents the first monthly fall since the decline in October last year.
While gross inflows were down, outflows also fell by US$9 million and resulted in net remittance inflows of US$227 million, compared with US$225 million in February 2022 and continues from a $6 million decline in outflows in January this year and resulting in net inflows for the two months increasing 2.9 percent over last year.
Remittance inflows for January to February this year fell by 0.5 percent to US$496 million.
The United States continued to be the prime source of inflows with 71.7 percent of total flows up from 70.8 percent in February 2022.

Remittance inflows to Jamaica fall

Remittances inflows to Jamaica amounted to US$3.440 billion in 2022 a  1.6 percent fall from inflows of US$3.497 billion in 2021, the first year of decline since 2014, data out of Bank of Jamaica show.
2022 is the second year that inflows exceeded the $3 billion mark, although 2021 came close with $2.905, $492 million in excess of inflows for 2020.
Inflows for December last year were slightly ahead of 2021, with inflows of US$326 coming in the 2022 last month versus US$321.6 for December 2021.

Jamaica’s tourism back on track

Tourism arrivals into Jamaica in April exceeded those for March this year by 4 percent, data out of the Montego Bay’s Sangster International Airport shows. The performance is even greater in percentage terms, with April having one less day than March. Significantly, the number of persons passing through the Sangster’s International Airport in Montego Bay climbed to 94.5 percent of the 2019 flows, resulting in a near-normal trade, the first time since February 2020 at the start of the Covid-19 virus outbreak.

Growth in tourism almost back to 2019 levels in April

The important Easter holidays fell around April 17th this year and the 21st in 2019; there would be no distortion to the numbers due to the holiday period when there would be more visitors to the island.
Incoming and outgoing passengers numbered 401,300 in April, up from 385,700 in March this year and 424,700 in April 2019, the last year before the covid induced fall out in the sector in 2020 data out of operators of the airport, Aeroportuario del Pacifico and published by show. In 2021 visitor movements through the airport numbered 157,600, or 61 percent less than this year.
The Montego Bay Airport states that the airport accounts for 73 percent of visitors to the island. It is, therefore, good reading on the overall industry movements.
Kinston’s Norman Manley Airport enjoyed an 18 percent jump in arrivals in April over March with 115,900 inward and outward movement, compared to 98,400 in March this year and 45,000 incoming and outgoing passengers in April 2021. No data is available for the Norman Manley Airport for 2019. Kingston had 139 percent more passengers in the four months to April compared to the same period in 2021 and for Montego Bay, there was a “187.5 percent increase from 462,200 in 2021 to 1,329,000 in the first four months of 2022. The 2022 total of 1,329,000 movements was 75.4% of the 1,762,700 passenger movements handled in the first four months of 2019,” reported.


Remittances to Jamaica drop

remittancesJamaica experienced the first big decline in remittances since the huge surge between 2020 and 2021, with a decrease of 10 percent or US$32.7 million to US$295 million in March, this year from $327 million in 2021.
“The significant decline in remittance inflows is partly due to the earlier timing of Easter in 2021 as well as increased cash in hand remittances as travel recovers. Increased cost of living in the main source markets was also a factor,” the release from Bank of Jamaica states.
For January to March 2022, remittance inflows to Jamaica amounted to US$793 million, a decline of 1.4 percent from the first quarter of 2021.

8% jump for Jamaica’s remittances

Remittance inflows into Jamaica climbed 8 percent in February this year over 2021 to $254.7 million at a faster pace than the one percent increase in January 2022 enjoyed over 2021.
The February 2022 inflows are 15 percent higher than the US$243.7 million collected this January thus reversing a marginal US$4 million decline in February 2021 against January of that year. The increase in February continues the strong rise in remittances the country enjoyed since 2020 when it rose by 20.76 percent in 20220 over 2019 and 20.38 percent over 2020.
Remittance inflows for January and February 2022 grew 4.5 percent to US$498.4 million over the similar period in 2021 the Bank of Jamaica report shows.