Jamaica’s NIR at record US$5.14 billion

Jamaica’s Net Internal Reserves surged to a record US$5.14 billion at the end of March buoyed by a hefty US$438 million inflows in March, moving the reserves from US$4.7 billion at the end of February this year. The surge follows a US$770 million build in the reserves in 2023 that saw the total rising to $4.76 billion at the end of 2023.
An examination of the financial statement of Jamaica’ central bank the inflows came from funds received mainly by the government of Jamaica.
ICInsider.com gather that the government was in the process of selling forward 20 years rental income for the two main international airports as such the inflows could well be related to this. The Minister of Finance in his budget presentation alluded to this.

BOJ pumps life into J$ with high interest rates

Jamaica’s Central Bank is pumping a great deal of life into the Jamaican dollar, lifting the value from just under J$158 to one United States dollar in February this year, to under $155 currently and driving rates on CDS up by almost 26 percent from a year ago, as the bank moves aggressively to bend year over year inflation within the mandated 4-6 percent, from 6.20 percent to February.
Liquidity in the financial has been drained with BOJ pulling out all available liquidity. At the most recent auction of Certificate of Deposits, the bank offered $42.5 billion to the public and attracted bids amounting to $43.16 billion, resulting in an average yield for successful bids of 11.12 percent, with the rate of 13.29 percent being partial satisfied.
The total outstanding 30-day CDs now amount to $157.5 billion, in contrast, a year ago the total outstanding 30-day CDs was $81.85 billion with the average yield at that auction being 8.85 percent.
Revaluation of the Jamaican dollar is critically important in curbing inflation as it cuts the cost of imported items and, most importantly, the cost of fuel that feeds into a wide array of goods and services. These include petrol for vehicles, electricity for households and businesses and powering the water supply. Of course, it affects other imported items such as foods clothing to name just two.

Jamaica pulled US$3.37B in remittances in 2023

Remittance inflows to Jamaica, ended in 2023 at US$3.37 billion, down two percent compared to total inflows of US$3.44 billion in 2022, and representing the third consecutive year that remittances exceed $3 billion and the fourth since it has come close to $3 billion, in 2020 in hitting a then record high of US$2.9 billion, well above the previous high of US$2.4 billion in 2019.
Remittance inflows for December 2023 declined by 3.6 percent to US$314 million, compared with US$326 million in December 2022. The data was compiled from data released by Bank of Jamaica

Jamaica’s NIR jumps another $100m

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Jamaica’s Net International Reserves (NIR) rose approximately US$113 in the first 10 days of 2024 data published by the country’s central bank, the Bank of Jamaica shows. The latest increase to the total of US$770 million that was added in 2023 to over US$870 million since the beginning of 2023.
The January inflows push the total at the close last year of US$4.76 billion to US$4.87 billion and just short of the US$5 billion mark. The build-up of the NIR comes against the background of the tight monetary policy pursued by the country’s central bank that has sucked local money from the financial market, by use of certificates of deposit (CDs). Over the past year, the Bank of Jamaica’s open market instruments mainly CDs have moved up by J$74 billion to $247 billion. Apart from funds being bought from the market, the NIR would also have grown by interest earned on the funds being held as reserves which could be around US$200 million per year based on current interest rates internationally.

10% climb in tourist arrivals for December

Tourist traffic into Jamaica for December 2023, seemed to have enjoyed a double digit increase of as much as 10 percent, with passengers passing through Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay, the airport that processes the bulk of visitor arrivals to the country, climbing a respectable 13.2 percent compared to the same period in 2022, data from Grupo Aeroportuario del Pacífico, operators of the airport revealed.

Tourism is Jamaica’s largest earner of foreign exchange.

Montego Bay with 437,200 passing through the airport in December 2022 handled 495,100 in December last year and 5.212 million for the year, 19.6 percent above the 4.356 million in 2022.
Traffic passing through Kingston’s Norman Manley International Airport fell 2.4 percent to 155,900 from 159,800 in 2022 but increased 12 percent.
The latest data shows a sharp improvement over November with Sangster International Airport handling 403,600 passengers, just 7.3 percent more than the 376,100 handled in November 2022, while the Kingston Airport processed 123,000 passengers, 6.6 percent fewer than the 131,700 handled in November 2022.
Data out of the Jamaica Tourist Board whose latest release on arrivals is sadly only up to August indicates that 83 percent of arrivals in 2023 represent tourists compared with 71 percent in 2022 but for December 2022 it represented 91 percent of one way traffic thought the a airports.

Jamaica’s NIR jumps US$151M to record high

Jamaica’s net international reserves jumped US$150.6 million in December to end 2023 at a record US$4.75 billion, with the report indicating that the amount represents 34.8 weeks of imports, data released by Bank Jamaica is shows.  
For the calendar year the NIR increased by US$770 million in 2023, that compares with a slight US$21 million fall in 2022 from 2021.

Soft remittance flows to end at $3.4B in 2023

Remittance inflows into Jamaica fell 1.9 percent in September to U.S$284.4 million and 1.2 percent for the year to date to just under $2.53 billion, this marks the 6th month of decline in remittances for the year to date, data from jamaica’s central bank shows.
With three months to go before the end of 2023, the market seems on track to be close to this US$3.44 billion of total inflows in 2022, with the absolute shortfall in remittances to date of just US$31 million adrift of the 2022 intake to September. The 1.9 percent fall in September is far less than the 5.9 percent decline that occurred in August and a 5.8 percent fall in April.

Worst fall for remittances

Remittance inflows to Jamaica in August slipped by 5.9 percent or US$18 million, the worst monthly decline for 2023, with total inflows of US$289, down from US$307 in August 2022, data out of the Bank of Jamaica show. The decline beats the 5.8 percent decline in April, with a slippage then of US$17 million.
So far, January, March and May are the only months with positive inflows compared with 2022.
In a year of primarily monthly declines, inflows are down by 1.1 percent or US$26 million to US$2.24 billion to August from US$2.267 million for the first eight months last year and now seem likely to come in just below the US$3.44 billion total inflows for 2022.

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.

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