The Central Reserve Bank reported that remittances from January to June fell by 10.3 percent, or $200 million, in comparison to the first half of 2008. The drop in remittances to a total of $1.74 billion is attributed to the economic crisis and to unemployment in the United States. Presently, 2.5 million El Salvadorans live in the United States.
Remittances are El Salvador's second-largest source of revenue and account for 17 percent of GDP. Two in 10 El Salvadorans rely on remittances as their main source of income. Adding to El Salvador's recession woes is its link to the U.S. dollar, which became legal currency in 2000.