Remittances to El Salvador Down in 2009

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.

President Mauricio Funes, who took office on June 1, vowed during his campaign that El Salvador would become "the most dynamic economy in Central America." This recession jeopardizes that goal and is a stumbling block for his planned social programs.


Any opinions expressed in this piece do not necessarily reflect those of Americas Quarterly or its publishers.
Tags: El Salvador, Economic Crisis, Remittances

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