SAN SALVADOR – El Salvador received $3.54 billion in remittances last year, 2.2 percent more than in 2009, according to a central bank report released Monday.
The report, which was discussed in detail in La Prensa Grafica, said that in 2009 the country received $3.46 billion from Salvadorans living and working abroad, a figure that represented about 16.4 percent of gross domestic product.
Last month, the amount received in the form of remittances totaled $340 million, compared with $336.5 million in December 2009, the central bank said.
March was the month during which the largest sum in remittances was received, $343.2 million, which was an increase of 8.7 percent with respect to March 2009.
Remittances to El Salvador fell in late 2008 and 2009 amid a brutal recession in the United States, where around 2.5 million Salvadorans live.
Official estimates are that remittances could grow by 5 percent in 2010, but – according to remarks made last month by central bank chief Carlos Acevedo – that rate of growth will not be achieved.
Acevedo at the time attributed the failure to hit the anticipated growth rate in remittances to the “Hispanic unemployment rate” in the United States. EFE