Poor countries recorded a US$ 372 billion in foreign remittances, with Egypt and Libya recording the most significant upward movements, but the reasons for this revision could not be explained, the World Bank said.
“The reasons for an upward revision to Egypt’s data in 2010 by US$ 4.7 billion and 2011 by US$ 6.2 billion are not obvious but reflect a variety of factors, including migrants returning from Libya, an increase in government T-bill rates, and falling housing prices that likely spurred housing purchases by Egyptians residing abroad,” the Bank said on Tuesday.
Egypt and Libya, most affected by the Arab Spring, appeared to significantly tilt the figures, with fresh consumer demand seen in the housing sector.
The World Bank said an upward revision to flows to India in 2011 by US$ 5.8 billion was attributed to a weak rupee and robust economic activity in the Gulf Cooperation Council countries, which are major destinations of recent migrants.
Newly available data from several countries reveal that officially recorded remittance flows to developing countries reached US$ 372 billion in 2011, an increase of 12.1 percent over the figure for 2010.
Worldwide remittance flows, including those to high-income countries, reached US$ 501 billion in 2011 and are expected to increase to US$ 615 billion by 2014.
“This is higher than our earlier estimate of US$ 351 billion,” the Bank said in a statement.