Remittances sent from abroad exceeded $7 billion, 14% more than the total received in 2015.
The total amount of remittances received by the country in 2016 is now equivalent to almost 10% of Guatemala's GDP. In December 2016 alone Guatemalans living abroad sent $678 million, the highest figure for the year. In regards to remittances received in December 2015, the increase was 13.5%.
Despite latent risks in the fiscal area, the Central Bank estimates growth of 2.4% for GDP, helped by an increase in consumption and low inflation.
Authorities at the Central Reserve Bank of El Salvador warned that the growth forecast could be affected by possible increases in interest rates or in international oil prices.Political polarization and the delicate fiscal situation also constitute threats to the expected growth.
In the first half of the year the country received 7% more remittances than it did in the same period in 2015.
From a report by the Central Reserve Bank of El Salvador:
El Salvador received US $2,221.2 million from family remittances sent in the first half of the year, surpassing the $133.5 million recorded in the same period last year and reaching a growth rate of 6.4%, the Central Bank reported.
In the first half of 2016 the country received $3.512 billion in remittances, almost 20% more than in the same period in 2015.
The figure achieved in the first six months of the year contrasts with the same period in 2015, when Guatemalans living abroad sent $2,955 million back to their country.
Elperiodico.com.gt reports that "...For the fourth consecutive month income from family remittances exceeded $600 million. According to the Central Bank, Guatemalan households received $614.7 million in June in transfers from abroad. "
The decision was made in response to economic activity, family remittances and credit to the private sector showing dynamism, and the fact that inflation remains within the target.
From a statement issued by the Bank of Guatemala:
The Monetary Board (MB), based on a comprehensive analysis of the external and internal situation, after reviewing the Inflation Risks Balance, decided to keep the level of the leading monetary policy interest rate at 3%.
On January 4 technical standards will come into effect which must be observed by the companies dedicated to sending and receiving money.
From a statement issued by the Central Bank of El Salvador:
The Standards Committee of Central Reserve Bank has approved the Technical Regulations for the Registry,Obligations and Operation of Bodies which Send or Receive Money" in Session No. CN-18/2015 of 17 December 2015, which will take effect on January 4, 2016.
Western Union Panama and the pawn and loans company Más Me Dan have joined their distribution networks in order to capitalize on the growing market for sending and receiving money.
In the first half of the year alone $223 million was sent to Panama in remittances, while $395 million was sent out, to destinations such as Colombia, China and the United States, the three main recipients, followed by Nicaragua, Mexico and Costa Rica. To Colombia alone, $100 million was sent in the period in question.
The Superintendent of the Financial System has started monitoring the operations of companies that send and receive remittances.
With the law reform passed by the Assembly, legal persons performing operations to systematically send or receive money or substantial amounts, by any means, at national and international level, will be supervised by the Superintendency of the Financial System. The Central Reserve Bank of El Salvador will be responsible for issuing the relevant technical regulations.