YEREVAN—The Central Bank of Armenia has released new data about foreign remittances to Armenia, non-commercial money transfers which are mostly sent by Armenian nationals working abroad and which make up a significant portion of Armenia’s gross domestic product (GDP).
According to the Central Bank of Armenia (CBA), Armenian commercial banks processed almost $628 million in incoming non-commercial cash transfers from Russia in the first half of 2014, up by almost 2 percent year on year, RFE/RL’s Armenian service (Azatutyun.am) reports. The overall amount of remittances rose by 4.7 percent to $773.2 million on the back of an almost 26 percent surge in individual cash coming from the United States, CBA data shows.
By comparison, wire transfers from Russia rose by almost 12 percent to $1.61 billion in the whole of 2013. They accounted for 86 percent of total non-commercial remittances, which were in turn equivalent to roughly 18 percent of Armenia’s GDP, according to RFE/RL.
The remittances have long been a major source of income for many Armenian families. They also enable the country to finance its trade and current account deficits.