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FT.com / Global Economy - World Bank warns of dip in remittances
Money sent home by migrants to families in developing countries is set to fall by up to 8 per cent this year, according to the World Bank.

But remittances could rise again as soon as next year, underscoring the resilience of such payments compared to other external flows of money during downturns in rich countries.

Globally, remittances to developing countries rose by only 8.8 per cent to $305bn last year after rising 16 per cent in 2007 and 18 per cent in 2006. The World Bank forecasts remittances will fall to $280-290bn this year and $280-299bn next year because of recession in many of the rich countries that host migrant employees.

Mr Ratha said the regional impact of lower remittances this year would be uneven. Developing countries in eastern Europe and central Asia are likely to see remittances fall by 10.1-12.7 per cent. Money sent home by Tajik migrants in Russia is affected by the depreciation of the rouble, which has fallen by 35 per cent since August 2008, he said.

On the other hand, developing countries in the Middle East and north Africa will suffer only a modest decline of 1.4-5.2 per cent in remittances. Flows from Gulf Co-operation Countries are not affected by falling oil prices, said Mr Ratha.

Poor countries in east Asia and the Pacific would probably see remittances slow by 4.2-7.5 per cent. The Philippines could see money sent home by migrants fall by only 4 per cent, said the World Bank economist.

"Dieu se rit des hommes qui se plaignent des conséquences alors qu'ils en chérissent les causes" Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet
by Melanchthon on Tue Mar 31st, 2009 at 04:01:44 AM EST
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