AT LEAST two players in the remittance sector have indicated that the partial shutdown of the United States (US) government is already impacting inflows from that country.
United States President Barack Obama has already acknowledged that the partial shutdown is having a damaging effect on the US economy.
Nadine Matthews, senior remittance officer at COK Sodality Co-operative Credit Union, told The Gleaner that the financial institution has seen a reduction in the volume of remittance transactions, when compared with the size of inflows before the US government shutdown.
Matthews said it appears that many Jamaicans in the US who would normally use their disposable income to send remittances back home have been holding on to their funds owing to the crisis.
One player in the remittance industry said the partial shutdown of the US government is the latest blow to the sector, which was already being hurt by scams.
In a presentation to the Internal and External Affairs Committee of Parliament last week, Ambassador Paul Robotham, permanent secretary in the foreign affairs ministry, indicated that if the shutdown continues, remittances might decline.
LIKELY J'CAN CONNECTION
He said the 800,000 federal employees who have been placed on furlough - or who will be furloughed over the next few weeks if the shutdown continues - are likely to include persons with Jamaican connections.
Robotham reasoned that some of these persons might opt to reduce remittances when faced with the economic uncertainties of the shutdown.
The foreign affairs ministry was asked to make a presentation on the likely implications of the partial US government shutdown on Jamaica.