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Caribbean & Central America - August 2019

ECONOMIC HIGHLIGHTS

EL SALVADOR | FDI. Last month El Salvador’s central bank (BCR) released new figures which show that in the first quarter of 2019 foreign direct investment (FDI) to El Salvador reached US$177.3m, with most of the investment going towards the country’s industrial, transport, and financial services sectors. Although this is significantly lower than the 2018 first-quarter total (US$404.1m), last year seems to be an outlier in El Salvador’s overall FDI trends. The BCR also noted that Q1 2019 saw US$253.8m sent out to foreign shareholders, a 125.6% rise on the amount paid in the same period in 2018, which perhaps explains the drop in net FDI. Disregarding the 2018 totals, El Salvador’s Q1 2019 FDI totals represent a steady upward trend over the past six years. The biggest investors in El Salvador this term were Panama, investing US$132m, and Spain (US$81.6m).

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