Remittance inflows, a general indicator of economic conditions and purchasing power, fell in the period January to May this year, sparking from the Bank of Jamaica, BOJ, which tracks the flows, an explanation that points away from a worsening of this economic indicator. Rather than reading the signal as a slowdown in income to households, the central bank’s take is that with an uptick in travel, more people are taking in cash on their person as they travel to Jamaica. The BOJ did not give details of its recording of cash-in-hand remittance.
“The decline in remittance inflows is partly due to increased cash-in-hand remittances as travel recovers,” the central bank stated in its latest remittance bulletin for May.
When outflows are factored in, net remittance inflows dipped 6.7 per cent, or US$19.5 million, in May to US$271.2 million, compared to May 2021. Total inflows also fell by US$25 million, or more than 8 per cent over May last year, to US$283.4 million. The central bank said the decline in total gross remittance inflows largely reflected a fall of 5.3 per cent in inflows via remittance companies. Inflows via other remittance channels were also down 25 per cent.