Guatemala: Remittances expand at fastest pace in five years
August 6, 2012
In July, remittances from workers abroad totalled USD 422 million. The figure came in well above the USD 350 million observed in the same month last year. Owing to the strong monthly print, annual growth in remittances soared from 3.9% in June to 20.7% in July, which represents the largest gain observed since July 2007. In the last 12 months up to July, remittances amounted to USD 4.6 billion, which was virtually unchanged from the previous month's result. The figure represents an 8.3% expansion over the corresponding period last year, up from the 5.8% increase seen in June. Owing to the continuous improvement witnessed in recent months, annual remittances are moving further away from their previous peak of USD 4.4 billion reached in September 2008. Remittances account for approximately 9% of GDP and are an important source of income for many Guatemalan families. Given its significance to the economy, remittances are one of the key drivers of private consumption in the country.