Remittances in Serbia up 10% y/y to 5.5bn in 2009.

By bne IntelliNews April 29, 2010
Serbians, working abroad, have sent home a total of USD 5.5bn in remittances in 2009, diaspora minister Srdjan Sreckovic stated, adding that remittances went up by 10% y/y despite the global economic crisis. Remittances accounted for more than 15% of the country's GDP, Sreckovic said, adding that the increase was not surprising as Serbians tend to send more money to their relatives in times of crisis and less in prosperous times. The largest foreign currency inflows to Serbia came from workers in Germany , Austria , Switzerland , the United States , Croatia and France , accounting for over 30% of the overall remittances. NBS vice-governor Bojan Markovic said the remittances are largely used for spending, mainly on imported goods and were thus augmenting the trade deficit. It would be better if they were channelled to investments or savings, Markovic said.

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