Sunday, 24 January 2010

Migrant Remittances to Bulgaria Hit by Global Downturn

There has been a dramatic decline in the amount of remittances from Bulgarians working abroad over the last four years due primarily to the start of the global downturn, according to a new report.

Remittances from Bulgarians working abroad totaled BGN 2,011 M in the first eleven months of last year, show data of the Bulgarian Central Bank and the Institute for Market Economy.

The estimate is considerably less than figures released for the previous year, according to which the total sum of money that flowed into the country from migrant workers reached BGN 2, 850 M or about 4,3 % of GDP.

The inflow of remittances in 2007 totaled BGN 2, 470, data shows.

Experts say the decline in the the cash brought back to Bulgaria will have a negative impact on the Bulgarian economy and shrink people's spending.

Remittances from migrant workers are a lifeline to large sections of the Bulgarian economy, particularly the retail trade and the housing market.

According to the World Bank, Bulgaria has one of the highest proportions of its population working abroad of any country in the world.

In 2009 approximately 1,5 million Bulgarians were based abroad, equal to 15% of the population. Source

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