Remittances increased in second half of 2010 but prospects still weak

Remittances sent by Colombians working abroad increased by 5.3 percent between June and November 2010 to complete six months of recovery, reports Portafolio.

The increase of $102 million resulted in a total of $2.05 billion for the half-year period. The rebound, however, was not enough to recover the lost ground compared to 2009. This comes as a result of the 10.5 percent drop between January and May 2010, a fall of $227 million.

The families who receive these remittances have been hit by the devaluation of the dollar. With the dollar becoming cheaper, the local currency earnings of Colombians abroad was worth less at home.

Prospects do not seem to be improving either, as in the coming months the dollar is anticipated to continue its downward trend.

Dependent upon the global economy as these remittances are, Maria Paula Figueroa, chief economist of Spanish bank BBVA, has warned that despite the revival of fortunes towards the end of last year, people should not expect a substantial increase in 2011, given that the global economic recovery is showing no signs of dynamism.

There are currently an estimated 2.12 million Colombians living abroad, approximately 4.6 percent of the population.

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