Guatemala City. Revenues through remittances increased by 15.1 percent in January 2011 compared to the same month in 2010. The Bank of Guatemala revealed yesterday that January 2011 showed revenues of $ 283.3 million. Although this amount is higher than January 2010, when revenues where at U.S. $ 246.1 million, it has not yet reached the levels of 2009, revenues of US $ 290.2 million, or U.S. $ 314.6 million of January 2008.
The decrease in the flow of remittances in recent years was a direct result of the impact of global financial crisis on the U.S. economy which resulted in less employment opportunities. According to a recent report by the Central American Bank for Economic Integration, they predict a slight increase in emplyment opportunities in the U.S.
The impact of international financial crisis in the country was felt since October 2008 when remittances fell 6 percent after having grown a month earlier to 13.8 percent. From that point on in October 2008, remitances fell for 14 of the 16 following months and only reached a marginal increase of 0.57 and 1.08 percent in December 2008 and March 2009.
Remittances improved in March 2010 with a 7.5 percent increase. The revenues of January 2011 are the highest since April 2008 when there was an increase of 15.47 percent.
The year 2010 ended with revenues of U.S. $ 4, 126.7 million, 5.5 percent higher than in the year 2009, when it reached U.S. $ 3, 912.2 million, but lower than 2008, with $ 4, 314.7 million.
Source: Bank of Guatemala
Photo: Barbara Schieber, Volcanoes, Guatemala