Western Hemisphere > Honduras

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Aleksandra Babii, Ms. Alina Carare, Dmitry Vasilyev, and Mr. Yorbol Yakhshilikov
Traditional models relying on standard variables like the U.S. Hispanic unemployment rate fared well in explaining remittances to CAPDR and Mexico during the pre-pandemic period. However, they fail to predict the sustained growth in remittances since June 2020, including the significant increase in the average amount remitted. Using data from over 300 remittances corridors (from 23 U.S. states to 14 Salvadoran departments), we find that this increase is primarily explained by the dynamics of U.S. states real wages, as well as more temporary factors like U.S. unemployment relief (including the extraordinary pandemic support), U.S. states mobility, and COVID-19 infections at home. The paper also analyses what role the change in the modes of transmission of remittances, additional U.S. fiscal stimulus and U.S. labor market developments, especially in the sectors were CAPDR and Mexican migrants preponderantly work, play in explaining aggregate remittances growth.
International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
The near-term outlook has worsened, while a recovery is expected for next year. Amid a weak health system and a surge in infections over the summer, the gradual reopening of the economy has faced setbacks and the pandemic is having a stronger and more protracted social and economic impact than expected. While the policy response to the Covid-19 shock was appropriately designed, there have been implementation challenges and delays. The authorities’ monitoring system of pandemic-related spending and civil society oversight helped identify missteps to implement corrective actions, for which they are receiving technical assistance from FAD and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB). More recently, Honduras is also facing the challenge to respond to two tropical storms, which the authorities intend to manage within the contour of the current economic program.
International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
This paper presents Honduras’ Second Reviews Under the Stand-By Arrangement and Arrangement Under the Stand-By Credit Facility, Requests for Augmentation and Rephasing of Access, and Modification of Performance Criteria. The coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic and external spillovers are expected to hit Honduras hard, and the augmentation of access will support the authorities’ response to mitigate the impact. The completion of the reviews will help Honduras meet urgent balance of payments needs stemming from the pandemic, including increased health care and social spending. The authorities continue to take steps to improve the institutional framework in the electricity sector. Important measures have been incorporated into the program. These aim at improving governance and facilitating the unbundling of the national electricity company. Tariffs continue to reflect the cost of electricity provision while providing subsidies to the poor. The augmentation of access under the Stand-By Arrangement and the Arrangement under the Standby Credit Facility should help the authorities cover external financing needs to mitigate the impact of the pandemic.