The Bank of Jamaica (BOJ) says remittance inflows for the first 10 months of 2021 (end of October), totalled approximately US$2.5 billion, as against US$2 billion for the corresponding period last year, to remain strong despite the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
“We’re not seeing remittances going down; we are still seeing growth,” Deputy Governor in charge of Banking, Currency Operations, and Financial Markets, Natalie Haynes, said.
She was speaking during the BOJ Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) digital quarterly media briefing on November 19.
Ms. Haynes said increased remittances have been flowing from Jamaica’s main sources, the United States and United Kingdom, while noting that significant funds have been sent from the Cayman Islands.
“We have [seen]… where most persons [in the Cayman Islands] are sending home their funds in anticipation of returning to Jamaica,” she further indicated.
Meanwhile, BOJ Governor, Richard Byles, in response to questions from journalists acknowledged that the onset of increased inflation could start to erode the ability of Jamaicans in the diaspora remitting funds.
The rate of inflation in the United States climbed to 6.2 per cent as of October 2021, as measured by the consumer price index, which is reported monthly by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The out-turn was above market forecasts of 5.8 per cent.
Annual inflation in the United Kingdom climbed to 4.2 per cent in October 2021, above market forecasts of 3.9 per cent, according to the Office for National Statistics’ publication.
‘What we hope for is that [the inflow] stays at the higher level, rather than go back down to the US$2 billion level… we certainly hope so. It’s been of tremendous help to the country,” he pointed out.
Total remittances for 2020 was US$2.91 billion, representing a 20 per cent increase over the US$2.47 billion recorded the previous year.