San Salvador, March 24 (IANS/EFE) Remittances to El Salvador rose 10.1 percent in the first two months of this year compared with the same period in 2011, the nation’s central bank said Friday.
Salvadorans living and working abroad sent home a total of $582.1 million in January and February, the central bank’s research and statistics department said in a statement.
The $314.8 million received in February represents an increase of $35.2 million over the same month last year, a development the bank attributed to the creation of 227,000 new jobs in the US, where some 2.5 million Salvadoran expatriates live.
Family remittances account for 16 percent of El Salvador’s gross domestic product and are the country’s second-largest source of revenue.
For most of the previous decade, the annual percentage increase in remittances from the US to Mexico and other Latin American nations was in double digits, the result both of increased immigration and a growing economy.
But that ended with the collapse of the US construction sector, which provided jobs for many of the Latino immigrants, and a 50 percent rise in the pace of deportations of undocumented workers beginning in 2004.
Remittances fell in 2009 and 2010 before beginning to recover last year.