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Thursday, 12 May 2022

Remittances from Egyptians abroad to grow 8% in 2022, says World Bank

It’s not all dim on the macro front: Remittances from Egyptian expats are expected to grow at a faster pace in 2022, rising by 8% compared to 6.4% last year, according to the World Bank’s latest forecast (pdf). The lender says that flows will pick up due to an “altruistic response” by migrants to difficulties being faced at home and economic growth abroad, which although is expected to slow, should still be supportive of remittances.

Bucking the regional trend: The bank forecasts remittance flow growth into developing countries in the MENA region to slow to 6% from 7.6% last year amid an economic crunch from the war in Ukraine.

Egypt was one of the biggest recipients of remittances last year: Some USD 31.5 bn was sent to Egypt last year, making us the fifth-largest recipient in the world. The country “benefited from higher oil prices, remittance returns from expatriates in the Gulf, as well as healthy economic activity in Europe and the United States,” the World Bank said.

Remittances have become an increasingly important source of foreign currency for Egypt, particularly following the hit to tourist revenues caused by covid-19 and the subsequent blow to Russian and Ukrainian tourism. The value of remittances has picked up steadily since the pandemic, with inflows during the previous fiscal year reaching a record high last year.

All in all, remittances to low- and middle-income nations are set to grow by 4.2% to USD 630 bn this year, the World Bank said, following a growth of 8.6% last year when remittances hit USD 605 mn. Ukraine, the largest remittance recipient in Europe and Central Asia, will see inflows soar more than 20%.

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