Money transferred from abroad to Georgia reduced to USD 51.2 million in January, 2009, a 12.5% decline on the same period of last year, the National Bank of Georgia (NBG) said on February 16.
The last time when decline in the figure for the first month of year was reported was in 2001.
The reduction is mainly attributed to the decline of remittances from Russia – a largest source of remittances for Georgia. In January, 2009, money transfers from Russia went down to USD 27 million from USD 35.6 million last January.
Money transfers from abroad amounted to slightly over USD 1 billion in 2008, against USD 866.1 million in 2007.
A joint policy paper by Open Society-Georgia Foundation and Economic Policy Research Center on Georgia’s economic challenges, released last week, warned that remittances were expected to decline this year because of the world financial crisis. It said that the trend would create “a heavy burden” for people, national currency and the banking sector.