Remittances hit record high in FY2020-2021
Remittances hit a record high in FY2020-2021, growing more than 13% to USD 31.4 bn compared to USD 27.8 bn the previous fiscal year, according to central bank figures (pdf) released yesterday. Inflows rose almost 30% to USD 8.1 bn in 4Q, up from USD 6.2 bn in the same period last year.
Inflows held up well through the pandemic: Remittances shrugged off covid lockdowns and the global oil price crash to rise 7% to USD 29.2 bn during 2020. In the second quarter — during which the initial wave of covid coincided with a historic slump in the price of oil — inflows slipped 10% y-o-y, only to rebound immediately the following quarter, reaching a multi-year high of more than USD 8 bn. Many analysts had issued more apocalyptic forecasts for Egyptian remittances, which rely heavily on expats living in Gulf economies that were hit hard by the oil crash and months of lockdown.
Egypt was one of the top five remittance destinations in 2020, according to Ripple. Central bank data put the value of remittances last year at USD 29.6 bn, up 10% from 2019 in spite of the disruption caused by the pandemic and the turmoil in the energy markets.