El Salvador receives US $ 173.3 million less in remittances in the first quarter of 2020

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Remittances from the United States represent 95.4% of the total received By 

Family remittances received by El Salvador totaled US $ 1,600.7 million in the period from January to April 2020, lower by US $ 173.3 million compared to the same period of the previous year, with a reduction equivalent to -9.8%.

In the month of April alone, family remittances registered US $ 287.3 million, which compared to the US $ 479 million received in April 2019, means a decrease of -40%.

In terms of the number of operations carried out in the financial system, remittances accumulated 6.1 million transactions between January and April, in the last month 1.2 million operations were registered, representing a -30.3% growth compared to the previous year, this indicates that the number of affected households is around 30% and that the average amount received has been reduced.

Family remittances originating in the United States were US $ 1,527.3 million, reflecting a reduction of US $ 156.4 million, equivalent to -9.3% growth. This nation became the center of the coronavirus pandemic in April 2020, and to date it continues to be the country with the highest confirmed cases worldwide.

Remittances from the United States represent 95.4% of the total received by El Salvador. There are already signs that some states of that country will gradually open their economy, such as California, where most Salvadorans reside and that they reduced their restrictions on May 8, a date close to the celebration of Mother’s Day, a situation that is It hopes to allow more remittances to El Salvador in May.

Additionally, the month of May is expected to be favorable compared to April 2020, with the measure announced by the government of El Salvador of agreements with four Money Transfer Companies (ETDs), which will allow Salvadorans in abroad send remittances to your relatives in El Salvador with zero commissions for senders this month. This measure includes the following ETDs: RIA, MONEYGRAM, VIGO (WESTER UNION) and VIAMERICAS, and applies to remittances paid to a bank account.

Other countries from which remittances are received are Canada, Spain and Italy, which show decreases of -8.3%, -12.2% and -27.6% respectively, in accumulated terms.

The other companies dedicated to the payment of remittances lead the market with 58.6% of the total as of April, this means US $ 938.1 million and 3.8 million operations. These companies include federations, credit boxes, exclusive financial institutions for the payment of remittances, telephone companies, among others. Banking institutions participated with the payment of 39.5% of the total, that is, US $ 632.5 million and 2.3 million operations.

Mobile top-ups that constitute remittances in kind went from US $ 8.9 million received until April 2019 to US $ 7.5 million in 2020. As for cash remittances for the month of April, these were not received due to the closure of El Savior.

Some indicators related to family remittances are the total unemployment rate in the United States and the Hispanic unemployment rate, registering 14.7% and 18.9% respectively for April, both rates higher than those registered in the 2008-2009 crisis.

Other countries that receive family remittances in the Central American region are Guatemala, which had remittance income of US $ 3,080.2 million and Honduras with US $ 1,550 million as of April 2020. Regarding the growth of family remittances, Guatemala and Honduras achieved growth of 0.3 % and -6.3% respectively as of April. However, only in April Guatemala and Honduras registered a drop of -20.2% and -28.5%.

Mexico registered a growth rate of 18.4% as of March 2020, an atypical situation compared to the rest of the recipient countries; however this is attributed to different reasons, among them a greater dynamism of the remittances received from the Mexican states bordering the United States, and due to the effect of the exchange rate due to the depreciation of the Mexican peso in relation to the dollar, which has encouraged Significantly more remittances were highlighted by the Center for Latin American Monetary Studies (CEMLA).

 

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