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LATIN AMERICA / THE CARIBBEAN
Remittance levels stagnate
Latinamerica Press
7/18/2014
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Flow of money from immigrants to their native countries showed no change in 2013.

Remittances sent by immigrants to their native countries last year totaled US$ 61.3 billion, a figure similar to that in 2012, according to a report recently released by the Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF), a member of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) Group.

In “Remittances to Latin America and the Caribbean in 2013: Still Below Pre-Crisis Levels,” the MIF claims that while remittances to Central America and the Caribbean increased in 2013, those to Mexico and South America went down, “resulting in flat growth for the region as a whole.”

“Prior to the international financial crisis, remittance flows into LAC [Latin America and the Caribbean] countries had reached average annual growth rates of 17 percent,” the reported noted. “However, the 2008-2009 economic crisis provoked a major change in the trends observed up until then. First, remittance levels fell more than 10 percent in 2009, followed by a modest rise of 6 percent in 2011, and then a leveling off at the regional level.”

In 2008, remittances hit an all-time high of $64.9 billion, but a year later had dropped to $56.5 billion. Since then, the amount of remittance money to the region has bounced back, but never reached the pre-crisis peak.

For the MIF, the economic crisis in Spain — the second largest source of remittances to the region after the United States — and sustained economic growth in Latin America and the Caribbean have led to a significant number of immigrants returning to their homelands.

“To the extent that conditions in remittance-receiving countries improve, inhabitants have less incentive to migrate and, if the conditions become very good, incentives can arise for migrants to return,” the MIF reported.

According to figures from Spain’s National Institute of Statistics, the number of residents from the Andean Community living in the country dropped noticeably in 2013. The Peruvian population in Spain decreased by 23.76 percent, followed by Colombians (22.75 percent), Bolivians (22.22 percent) and Ecuadorans (20.96 percent).

In all, 160,410 Andean Community citizens left Spain last year to return to their native countries.

“As you can see, the economic crisis [in Spain] continues and won´t be resolved either in the short term or the long term, which is the primary reason foreigners are leaving that country,” Andean parliamentarian Alberto Adrianzén said.
—Latinamerica Press.

LATIN AMERICA/THE CARIBBEAN
Total remittances received 2013
(US$ millones)
Country
2012
2013
Mexico
22,446
21,583
Guatemala
4,782
5,104
Colombia
4,073
4,071
El Salvador
3,911
3,969
Dominican Rep.
3,158
3,333
Honduras
2,894
3,121
Peru
2,779
2,707
Ecuador
2,451
2,450
Jamaica
2,038
2,065
Haiti
1,988
2,017
Brazil
1,989
1,623
Nicaragua
1,152
1,202
Bolivia
1,094
1,182
Argentina
991
1,078
Chile
902
923
Venezuela
803
836
Panama
601
794
Paraguay
804
743
Costa Rica
579
561
Guyana
405
415
Uruguay
123
133
Trinidad and Tobago
129
131
Belize
112
120
Suriname
113
118
Source: Inter -American Development Bank

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