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KINGSTON — The latest remittance report released by the Bank of Jamaica (BOJ), dated September 2011 for the month of July, disclosed that net remittances for the month were US$149.7 million, which represented an improvement of US$15.1 million or 11.2 per cent relative to the corresponding period of 2010.

According to the BOJ this resulted from an increase in gross inflows and reductions in remittance outflows.

The data from the central bank revealed that during the month, total remittance inflows were US$170.6 million, which reflected an improvement of US$11.1 million or 6.9 per cent, over the previous month.

The increase in total remittance inflows emanated from increases in both the “remittance companies and other remittances sub-categories” of US$10.8 million and US$0.3 million, respectively. Reductions in outflows of US$4.0 million, for the review month, reinforced the positive growth in net remittances, the report noted.

For the review month, remittance inflows of US$170.6 million represent the highest inflows seen for July, since 2009. This improvement resulted primarily from increased inflows through Remittance Companies.

For the first seven months of 2011, net remittances were approximately US$1 billion, which the BOJ said “represented an increase of US$63.6 million or 6.7 per cent relative to the corresponding period of 2010”. This resulted from an increase in gross inflows though partially offset by an increase in remittance outflows.

For the review period, total remittance inflows were US$1.1 billion, representing an increase of US$70.1 million or 6.4 per cent. This increase in total remittance inflows, the Bank explained, emanated from improvements in inflows to both the remittance companies, and the “other remittances subcategories.”

Remittance companies recorded an increase of US$59.0 million or 6.4 per cent, while other remittances had an increase of US$11.1 million or 6.7 per cent, compared to the corresponding period in 2010. The BOJ report noted that for the review period, increases in outflows of US$6.5 million, partially offset the positive growth in net remittances.

“Although marginally better than the corresponding period in 2010, remittance inflows of US$1,157.9 million were still below the pre-crisis (2008) trend. A continued improvement in remittance inflows in ensuing months is juxtaposed on the improving macroeconomic conditions in source economies,” the report stated.

For the first four months of the 2011/12 fiscal year, net remittances were US$589.3 million, which represented an increase of US$43.6 million or 8.0 per cent relative to the corresponding period of the previous fiscal year. The Bank explained that this resulted from an increase in gross inflows and reductions in remittance outflows.

The BOJ reported that for the financial year, up to-July, total remittance inflows were US$678.2 million, representing an increase of US$42.8 million or 6.7 per cent over the corresponding period of the preceding fiscal year.

“The increase in total remittance inflows emanated from both Remittance Companies and the Other Remittances sub-categories. Remittance Companies recorded an increase of US$37.1 million or 6.9 per cent, while Other Remittances had an increase of US$5.7 million or 5.8 per cent. For the review period, reductions in outflows of US$0.8 million reinforced the positive growth in net remittances,” the report noted.

Meanwhile, the remittance inflows of US$678.2 million for the first four months of the 2011/12 fiscal year represents an increase over that which was recorded in the corresponding period in fiscal year 2010/11.The report observed that this was consistent with the global developments during the review period.

Globally, officially recorded remittance flows to developing countries are estimated to increase by 6 percent to $325 billion in 2010. This marks a healthy recovery from a 5.5 percent decline registered in 2009. Remittance flows are expected to increase by 6.2 percent in 2011 and 8.1 percent in 2012, to reach $374 billion by 2012.

Remittance flows, regarded as the lifeline of many Latin American and Caribbean economies, appear to be trending up after a steep 12 percent decline in 2009, at the end of the US recession.

 

By Allan Brooks, JIS Senior Reporter