Slight Fall in Remittance Inflows in First Half of 2022

  • Remittance inflows, which support consumer purchasing power, external account stability and economic growth, fell during January to June of this year, with inflation biting across the world.
  • For the half-year period remittance inflows to Jamaica declined by 2.9%, moving from US$1.76Bn last year to US$1.71Bn this year. Net remittance inflows for the 6 months also declined (3.1% or US$1.59Bn) relative to the same period last year US$1.64Bn). Despite the decline, 2022 remittances (+40.7%) remain above 2019 (pre-pandemic) levels with reported total inflows of US$1.22Bn.
  • Speaking at a press briefing on Friday (August 19), Governor of the Bank of Jamaica Richard Byles indicated that the rise in remittances in 2021 was impacted by Jamaicans who were unable to travel to Jamaica during the height of the pandemic due to the restrictions. With travel rebounding, remittances have come down, but remain strong and are expected to return stronger than pre-pandemic levels.
  • The decline in remittances may also be influenced by the impact of higher inflation and recession concerns in developed countries like the USA and the impact on the spending and saving pattern of Jamaicans in the diaspora.
  • However, on a positive note, the US labour market, of which remitters would be a big part, is still strong relative to pre-pandemic levels, which should support remittance inflows to the country.

(Source: BOJ and NCB Research)