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Salvadorians received US$3.34bn in remittances from friends and family members abroad in the first three quarters of 2016 – a 6.1% increase over the same period of 2015.
In September, remittances reached US$363mn or a 4.7% year-on-year increase for the month, according to a report from El Salvador's central bank, which also suggested that lower unemployment in the United States was making resources more available to migrant workers.
The report noted that while US unemployment rose to 5.0% in September and unemployment of Latino workers rose 0.6% to 6.4% month-on-month, the latter is still a 0.1% improvement over September 2015, and 156,000 jobs were created last month.
Most remittances to El Salvador originate from the US, where nearly 89% of the country's migrants reside.
Year-to-date data through September reflects 17.1mn transactions – 3.8mn of which were to add credit to local mobile phones from abroad. Salvadorians are increasingly using their phones to make payments, known as M-payments.
The remaining 13.3mn operations were money transfers, a 7.4% year-on-year increase.
Over this period, banks paid out US$1.69bn in 6.4mn operations, or 50.7% of all transactions, while co-ops, agents and other firms carried out another 46% of the total, with the remainder reflecting trusted individuals bringing the money into El Salvador personally.
Remittances – the nation's second largest source of external income after exports – reach 1.3mn people in the nation, according to a 2014 government study.
Direct foreign investment in El Salvador has also been on the rise, showing solid results for H1 2016.