For the remittance market in Latin America and the Caribbean, 2011 represented a year of growth recovery compared to the 2008-2010 period, despite the persistent economic uncertainty on the European continent. As seen in previous years, the volume of remittances received by each country in the region depended to a large extent on the number of migrants working abroad, the level of their income and, finally, the situation in the countries receiving these resources. .
The macroeconomic perspectives of the receiving and sending countries offer some elements that allow us to anticipate the possible behavior of remittance flows in the future. The relatively positive macroeconomic projections for the United States, from which approximately three quarters of the remittances sent to the region come from, indicate a possible growth trend in remittances for 2012, at the aggregate level. The positive outlook for growth in output and employment, and reduction in unemployment, heralds the possibility of an economic context that could benefit migrants in this country and positively impact the flow of remittances, especially to Mexico and Central American countries. .
On the other hand, the expected conditions for European countries are still pessimistic, especially in Spain, where falls in output and employment are expected, as well as an increase in unemployment, even stronger than for other countries of the old continent. For countries that receive a significant proportion of their remittances from migrants who work there, such as those in South America and particularly the Andean countries, a marked slowdown in the growth rate of remittances is expected.
As for the macroeconomic projections of countries within the Latin American and Caribbean region, the destination for a growing proportion of Latin American and Caribbean migrants, they indicate the possibility of growth in output and employment, similar to or slightly lower than last year. , with unemployment rates similar to those of 2011. This context suggests that intra-regional remittance flows will continue to strengthen. In the South American countries, these intra-regional remittances will be able to offset to a certain extent the falls in the volume of remittances from European countries, but without being able to counteract them. Taking into account the projections described above, it can be expected that in 2012 the remittances received will reach a growth rate similar to that of the previous year,
However, although macroeconomic projections may suggest a possible trend in flows, they only serve as a starting point for estimating the future behavior of remittance flows. As has been observed in previous years, the behavior of remittance flows can be influenced by other factors that can significantly affect both the migrant’s ability to generate income and the degree of urgency and need of the receiving families. , which depend on resources from abroad.
There are significant efforts underway, both at the multilateral and national levels, to improve understanding of the behavior of remittance flows at the aggregate level and of the market of remittance service providers, as well as the reality faced by senders and receivers. of remittances. Many of these initiatives aim to strengthen the development potential that these flows entail. The millions of remittance and payment transactions carried out by migrants and their families each year, whose added value exceeds official development assistance, represent a tool for alleviating poverty and a vehicle for improving the quality of life of millions of families. low income, in addition to serving as a gateway to financial services and products for the unbanked in the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean. A better understanding of these flows will contribute to efforts to establish a public policy framework that increases competition, efficiency, and security in the remittance market, and to the development of initiatives that support innovative business models in this market in order to better serve the needs of millions of families who benefit from these flows.