Remittances from abroad are a blessing: record numbers in 2023

The Central Bank (BCRD) reports that in October 2023 remittances were US$827.1 million, up 1.4% compared to October 2022. The Central Bank expects remittances to close the year at a level of US$10 billion.

The large number of Dominican migrants and their strong ties to the Dominican Republic are a major strength for the Dominican Republic. The Central Bank reports that during the January-October 2023 period, remittances reached US$8.42 billion, a growth of 3.7% compared to the same period in 2022. The Central Bank expects a remittance projection of exceeding US$10 billion by the end of 2023.

The flow of hard currency from abroad marks the tenth consecutive month with an increase during the year.

The BCRD explains that the economic performance of the United States is one of the main factors that has influenced the behavior of remittances since 85.2% of these in October came from the USA, some US$641.3 million.

On the one hand, general unemployment in the United States stood at 3.9%, remaining at the levels observed before the pandemic. Additionally, the non-manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) of the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) registered a value of 51.8 in October, evidencing the sustained expansion of the services sector, where most of the Dominican diaspora is employed.

In October, Dominicans in Spain sent back remittances through formal channels for US$41.6 million, 5.5% of the total, being this country the second in terms of total Dominican diaspora residents abroad. Dominicans in Haiti sent back 0.9% and those in Italy 0.8%.

The rest of the remittances received are divided among countries such as Switzerland, Canada and Panama, among others.

Regarding the distribution of remittances received by provinces, the BCRD indicates that the money is being mostly received in the country’s metropolitan areas. The National District received 35.4% of these during October, followed by the provinces of Santiago and Santo Domingo, with 13.5% and 9.7%, respectively.

The BCRD has a positive outlook that the hard currency flows coming for remittances, exports, tourism revenues and foreign direct investment will continue during the rest of 2023. Tourism revenues are expected to exceed US$10 billion, as would remittances. FDI flows are expected to register around US$4.3 billion.

The Central Bank explains that these significant foreign exchange revenues favor the relative stability of the exchange rate. The national currency has depreciated by 0.9% compared to its level at the end of 2022. Likewise, the flows of hard currency maintain the level of international reserves at an adequate US$15.34 billion. This level represents 12.8% of GDP and 5.7 months of imports, above the thresholds recommended by the IMF.

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Central Bank

15 November 2023