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Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Remittances & Inflation in El Salvador

From the Miami Herald:

LA UNION, El Salvador - It is hard to overstate how much this tiny Central American nation has benefited from the estimated $2.8 billion that Salvadoran immigrants in the United States send back to their relatives each year.

Without it, the portion of families who live in extreme poverty would jump from 6 percent to 37 percent, according to a recent study by the United Nations Development Program.

Yet economists have become increasingly concerned that the flood of U.S. dollars may also be driving up the cost of living in El Salvador, forcing ever-larger numbers of Salvadorans to leave for the United States -- where their presence, along with that of other illegal immigrants, has already triggered a fierce debate.

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