India to retain top spot in remittances with $80 bn in 2018: World Bank

India is followed by China ($67 billion), Mexico and the Philippines ($34 billion each) and Egypt ($26 billion)

Lalit K Jha, PTI
Updated8 Dec 2018
In 2017, remittances constituted 2.7% of India’s GDP. Photo: iStock
In 2017, remittances constituted 2.7% of India’s GDP. Photo: iStock

Washington: India will retain its position as the world’s top recipient of remittances this year with its diaspora sending $80 billion back home, the World Bank said in a report on Saturday.

India is followed by China ($67 billion), Mexico and the Philippines ($34 billion each) and Egypt ($26 billion), according to the global lender.

The Bank estimates that officially recorded remittances to developing countries will increase by 10.8% to reach $528 billion in 2018, against a 7.8% growth in 2017.

Global remittances, which include flows to high-income countries, are projected to grow by 10.3% to $689 billion, it said.

Over the last three years, India registered a significant flow of remittances, from $62.7 billion in 2016 to $65.3 billion 2017. In 2017, remittances constituted 2.7% of India’s GDP, the Bank said.

Remittances to South Asia are projected to increase by 13.5% to $132 billion in 2018, a stronger pace than the 5.7% growth seen in 2017.

The upsurge is driven by stronger economic conditions in advanced economies, particularly the US, and the increase in oil prices having a positive impact on outflows from some GCC countries such as the UAE, which reported a 13% growth in outflows for the first half of 2018.

Bangladesh and Pakistan experienced strong upticks of 17.9% and 6.2% in 2018, respectively, the Bank said.

For 2019, it is projected that remittances growth for the region will slow to 4.3% due to a moderation of growth in advanced economies, lower migration to the GCC and the benefits from the oil price spurt dissipating.

The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) is a regional inter-governmental political and economic bloc of Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

As global growth is projected to moderate, future remittances to low- and middle-income countries are expected to grow moderately by 4% to $549 billion in 2019. Global remittances are expected to grow 3.7% to $715 billion in 2019.

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