Remittances from Qatar remain robust despite global slowdown
For the first time in seven years, migrants across the globe are sending less money back home to their families, according to a recent World Bank report.
However, remittances from Qatar continued to grow some 7 percent in the third quarter of 2015, a trend shared by Saudi Arabia.
That said, falling oil prices across the Gulf are likely to cause remittances to slow or decline in the coming year, the World Bank noted.
The report said:
“The GCC countries have used their substantial reserves to maintain spending levels…More recent data from the fourth quarter, however, indicate a slowdown in remittances from the GCC countries.
If lower oil prices persist, remittance outflows from GCC countries are likely to slow further.”
Worldwide, an estimated US$582 billion was sent by migrants to relatives in their home countries last year. This was down from $592 billion in 2014, according to World Bank economists.
The drop in remittances is the first since 2009 global financial crisis.
Meanwhile in Qatar, Central Bank (QCB) data showed workers’ remittances were around QR10.86 billion in the first quarter of 2015.
However, the year ended with remittances falling to QR10.49 billion in the last quarter, a decline of about 3.41 percent.
Still, QCB estimates there will be a recovery this year, with preliminary first quarter figures from 2016 increasing to QR10.98 billion.
Globally, India topped the list of receiving countries, with an estimated US$68.9 billion in 2015, followed by China ($64 billion).
According to XPress Money, India was also the largest recipient of remittances from Qatar last year, receiving $3.99 billion.
Nepal followed at $2.02 billion, Egypt at $1.05 billion and Bangladesh at $525 million.