Spain drags down LatAm remittance growth in 2012


7th May 2013

Remittances were largely flat year-over-year in 2012 due to a sluggish Spanish economy.

Remittances to Latin America posted modest growth in 2012 according to the latest data from Latin Business Chornicle. In total, an estimated $61.2 billion was sent to the region from abroad in 2012 – only a 0.6 percent increase on 2011. The year saw strong growth in the first half of the year that was tempered by declines in the third and fourth quarters.
At $61.2 billion, remittances to the region have yet to recover from the steep decline registered during the 2008-2009 financial crisis, which saw a year-over-year decline of 15 percent between 2008 and 2009. In 2008, nearly $65 billion was sent to Latin America – the highest in recent years. Analysts from the World Bank and Inter-American Development Bank believe 2013 could finally see remittances reach that level again.
This year’s slight growth in remittances was driven largely through a modest economic improvement in the United States, which is home to about three-quarters of remittance-sending migrants. In 2012, the U.S. economy grew at 2.2 percent, and remittance flows from the region increased by 3.4 percent.
But the flow of remittances was tempered by more modest economic growth in Western Europe – especially in Spain. Spain is home to the second-largest population of Latin American immigrants, and especially attracts migrants from the Andean region. The Spanish economy continued to struggle in 2012 with unemployment …

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