Migrant Remittances Still Lifeline to Bulgaria's Economy

Business » FINANCE | September 16, 2011, Friday // 09:04| Views: | Comments: 0
  • Send to Kindle
Bulgaria: Migrant Remittances Still Lifeline to Bulgaria's Economy Approximately 1,2 million Bulgarians are currently based abroad, equal to 16% of the population. Photo by Sofia Photo Agency

Remittances - money sent by Bulgarian migrants to family members back home – continue to increase slightly, but steadily despite the global downturn, data from the central bank shows.

The net sum of the remittances from Bulgarians permanently working abroad totaled EUR 473 M during the first seven months of 2011.

Bulgarian immigrants sent home EUR 68.6 M in July alone, slightly down from EUR 77.4 in May, which was a record-high level of transfers since the Bulgarian National Bank started collecting data about remittances back in 2004, the bank said.

The increase in the amount of remittances from Bulgarians working abroad has been firm over the last few years. Total funds transferred to Bulgaria annually have gone up from EUR 693.90 M in 2008 to a whopping EUR 759.6 M in 2010.

Studies show that the actual money sent home are about 30-40% higher that the official figures.

The trend is a striking exception to the global pattern for a decline in the number of people going to work abroad since the start of the global downturn and the amount of remittances they send.

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

Experts say the rise in the the cash brought back to Bulgaria will have a positive impact on the Bulgarian economy and expand people's spending.

According to the World Bank, Bulgaria has one of the highest proportions of its population working abroad of any country in the world and remains one of Europe's biggest recipients of remittances.

Approximately 1,2 million Bulgarians are currently based abroad, equal to 16% of the population.

The biggest Bulgarian communities are based in Spain, Germany, Greece, Italy, Romania and Turkey.

According to a survey by the Bulgarian National Bank, conducted at the beginning of the year, only 50% of migrant workers send money to relatives in Bulgaria. The others admit they are not able to help financially their families here even though they are permanently employed.

Bulgarians working in Italy, whose community numbers at least 70,000, are most generous and transfer to their home land BGN 370 per month on average, the survey says.

Bulgarian migrants living in Spain set aside BGN 280 per month for their families back home.

Curiously, Bulgarians in the United States and Canada trail at the bottom of the ranking because of the high living standards and high prices there.

Finance » Be a reporter: Write and send your article
Tags: canada, United States, turkey, Romania, Italy, greece, Germany, Spain, abroad, Bulgarian Central Bank, Bulgaria, remittances, Bulgarian, Bulgarians, National Bank
Expats.bg All Are Welcome! Join Now!
Advertisement
Advertisement
Please, log in to post a comment.
» To the forumComments (0)
Bulgaria news Novinite.com (Sofia News Agency - www.sofianewsagency.com) is unique with being a real time news provider in English that informs its readers about the latest Bulgarian news. The editorial staff also publishes a daily online newspaper "Sofia Morning News." Novinite.com (Sofia News Agency - www.sofianewsagency.com) and Sofia Morning News publish the latest economic, political and cultural news that take place in Bulgaria. Foreign media analysis on Bulgaria and World News in Brief are also part of the web site and the online newspaper. News Bulgaria