Nicaragua Receives a Record $4.66 Billion in Remittances, More Than Double What Cuba Receives

In Cuba, remittances from the USA are temporarily halted. (14ymedio)

14ymedio biggerEFE/14ymedio, Managua | 8 February 2024 — Nicaragua received a new record $4.66 billion in family remittances in 2023 – representing 29.7% of its gross domestic product (GDP) – of which $3.841 billion came from the United States, the Nicaraguan Central Bank reported Wednesday in Managua.

Nicaraguans received $1.4352 billion more than they did in 2022, when they received $3.2249 billion in remittances, 23 per cent of GDP and 44.5 per cent more, the state-owned bank said in a report.

The main sources of remittances in 2023 were from the United States with 82.4 per cent ($3.8411 billion), followed by Costa Rica with 7.1 per cent ($331.9 million), and Spain with 5.9 per cent ($276.6 million), the monetary entity highlighted. Remittances from these three countries together accounted for 95.4 per cent of the total.

Remittances from the US, Costa Rica and Spain together accounted for 95.4 per cent

Remittances from the United States totalled a record $3.8411 billion in 2023, $1.3714 billion more than received in 2022, when they totalled $2.4697 million, or 55.5 per cent more, the source stressed. In addition, the $3.8411 billion received from the United States exceeded the $3.2249 million sent in 2022 from all countries, according to official data.

Those from Costa Rica totalled $331.9 million, up 20.3 per cent over 2022 ($275.9 million), and those from Spain totalled $276.6 million, for a year-on-year increase of 2.4 per cent ($270.1 million in 2022).

Nicaragua increased its economic growth projection to a maximum of 5% in 2023 and 4.5% in 2024, “based on the behaviour of a set of variables (exports, tax collection, credit, remittances, tourism, among others), as well as the positive evolution of the country’s main trading partners”, according to the Central Bank, which does not yet provide this indicator.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) forecasts a 4 per cent growth of Nicaragua’s economy in 2023, driven by record remittances, and 3.5 per cent growth rate in 2024.

The IMF expected family remittances to reach about 28% of Nicaragua’s GDP by the end of 2023, double their level at the end of 2021, driven by the rapid increase in Nicaraguan emigrants.

Cuba, although it has a similar percentage of exiles, only received $1.973 billion  last year, the same amount as in 2010

About 20% of the total Nicaraguan population, estimated at 6.7 million, live abroad, mainly in the United States and Costa Rica, and it is estimated that half of them are undocumented.

The data on remittances to Nicaragua contrasts with those of Cuba, which although it has a similar percentage of exiles, only received $1.973 billion last year, the same amount as in 2010 and a decrease of 3.31% compared to the amount in 2022.

According to a report by the Havana Consulting Group, the collapse shows that many exiles prefer to invest money in getting their relatives off the island rather than sending them foreign currency. “It is a strong warning sign that the country is losing one of its main lines of income,” they said.

Currently, money transfers to Cuba through various agencies are at a standstill following an alleged Fincimex cybersecurity incident.

Translated by GH


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