El Salvador: Remittances Grow 9% up to February

During the first two months of the year, the country received $874 million in family remittances, 8.8% more than in the same period of 2019.

Thursday, March 12, 2020

The growth of family remittances shows a higher rate compared to the last two years. Among the factors that positively influence the results are a lower unemployment rate in the United States, the good performance of that economy last year and the growth of personal income.

From the BCR report:

Family remittances received by El Salvador reached US$873.9 million as of February 2020, representing an increase of 8.8%, higher by US$71 million over last year, informed the Central Reserve Bank of El Salvador.

Remittances from the United States experienced an increase of 9.3%, equivalent to US$70.5 million more. Other main countries of origin of Salvadoran remittances are Canada with US$7.6 million, Spain with US$3.8 million and Italy with US$3.6 million. Some experts point out that remittances are a migratory thermometer and the above figures could give a sign that Salvadorans are diversifying destinations for migration.

In the financial system, 3.2 million operations were carried out in terms of family remittances, which meant a variation of 7.2% compared to 2019.
Banks participated as agents in the payment of 39.6% of total remittances equivalent to US$345.8 million; other companies such as federations, credit unions and companies dedicated exclusively to the payment of remittances settled 58.4% of the total, or US$510 million; this last group has gained ground in the remittance market and displaced banking institutions, such trend is similar to that presented in other family remittance receiving countries.

Family cash remittances totaled US$14.8 million, or 1.7% of the total. Meanwhile, mobile phone top-ups from abroad considered as in-kind remittances totaled US$3.2 million, lower by US$1.2 million.

72% of remittances were collected over the counter, meaning that beneficiaries or family members withdrew their remittance at an institution where they do not have an account. Meanwhile, 25.9% of the total was credited to a bank account.
The total unemployment rate in the United States was 3.5%, lower than the previous year.

The Hispanic unemployment rate increased by one basis point from 4.3% last year to 4.4% in February 2020.

Other countries that receive family remittances from the Central American region are: Guatemala, which had remittance income of US$1,642.6 million and Honduras with US$851.5 million as of February this year. Regarding the growth of family remittances, Guatemala and Honduras reached a growth of 19.2% and 11.7% to February 2020, respectively. On the other hand, Mexico registered a 5.2% growth in the first month of the year.

More on this topic

El Salvador: Remittances Begin 2020 with 6% Increase

February 2020

During January, the country received $425 million in family remittances, 6% more than in the same month in 2019.

Economic growth and employment in the United States are two determining variables in the income of family remittances, since their performance influences the economy of those who send remittances to Salvadoran households.

El Salvador: $4.159 Million in Remittances up to September

October 2019

In the first nine months of this year, the country received $4.159 million in remittances, surpassing in 4% what was reported in the same period of 2018.

During September the country recorded $459 million in remittances, more than the $429.3 million received in the same month in 2018. In addition, the Central Reserve Bank (BCR) reported that 1.7 million remittance transactions were recorded in the financial system.

El Salvador: Remittances Total $3.7 Billion

September 2019

In the first eight months of this year, the country received $3.7 billion in remittances, 4% more than in the same period in 2018.

Family remittances received by El Salvador from January to August 2019 reached $3.7 billion with a 4.1% growth, equivalent to an additional $146.5 million over the same period last year, according to the Central Reserve Bank.

Nicaragua: Remittances Up 8% in 2018

April 2019

During last year, family remittances sent to the country totaled $1.501 million, 7.9% more than the $1.391 million reported in 2017.

In terms of year-on-year growth, Nicaragua ranks fifth as a recipient of family remittances at the regional level. Remittances to Honduras registered the highest growth in the region, 14%, followed by Guatemala (13.4%) and the Dominican Republic (10.4%), according to a report by the Central Bank of Nicaragua (BCN).