Remittances at record levels for first half of the year

The Central Bank reports that remittances in the first half of 2021 were 51.5 % more than in 2020. Despite the pandemic, 2020 was a record year in remittances, with Dominican expats sending home more than in 2019.

Between January and June of this year, remittances have totaled US$5.26 billion, US$1.78 billion more than for the same period in 2020.

In June 2021, remittances were US$869.8 million, an amount that exceeds by US$131.9 million those registered in June 2020. It is worth noting that, compared to June 2019, the year prior to the pandemic, remittances in June 2021 showed a growth of 48.2 %, some US$282.8 million more.

The Central Bank says the economic recovery in the United States is responsible, since 85 % of the remittances are sent from the US where around two million Dominican expats live, according to the US Census Bureau. Remittances are also received in large amounts from Spain (7%).

Of the total remittances received, residents in the National District, the capital city, receive the most, with 33.5%, followed by the provinces of Santiago and Santo Domingo, with 14.6% and 8.1%, respectively. This indicates that residents in metropolitan areas benefit from more than half (56.2%) of remittances.

The remittances have contributed to the accumulation of Central Bank international reserves that now exceeds US$12 billion, or around 14.4% of GDP and a sum that is equivalent to more than seven months of imports. The DR has a favorable external position and prospects for a lower current account deficit in 2021, around 1.6% of GDP.

The Central Bank says despite the considerable improvement in the country’s economy, monetary authorities remain alert to continue taking the necessary measures to guarantee price and exchange market stability during the Dominican economy’s reactivation process.

The Dominican Republic, nevertheless, is the Latin American country to most increase its debt in 2020, up 16%. Despite the local currency being in pesos, the Dominican public debt in hard currency is in fourth place in the Americas, with the highest percentage of public debt contracted in United States dollars, only behind Panama, Ecuador, and Paraguay. 69% of the Dominican debt is in pesos. The Dominican foreign debt closed at US$44.62 billion in 2020, up from US$35.94 billion in 2019.

Politician Guillermo Moreno of Alianza Pais criticized that Abinader had become a champion of debt taking, as reported in N Digital.

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Central Bank
Diario Libre
N Digital

15 July 2021