The Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) has reported that remittances from Egyptians working abroad surged to $2.7bn in May 2024, marking a remarkable year-on-year growth rate of 73.8%. This substantial increase follows three consecutive months of growth and represents a significant boost from the approximately $1.6bn recorded in May 2023.

In their statement released on Monday, the Central Bank highlighted that remittances also saw a month-on-month increase of 26.6% in May 2024 compared to April 2024, during which they totalled around $2.2bn. Notably, this surge in remittances coincided with a series of economic reforms implemented on March 6, 2024.

Remittances from Egyptians abroad play a crucial role in Egypt’s economy, serving as one of the largest sources of foreign currency. These inflows are second only to export revenues. Before the economic reforms, a significant portion of these remittances flowed through the parallel currency market due to a substantial difference in the dollar exchange rate between the parallel market and the official market. However, with the recent reforms, remittances have started returning to official channels, including banks and exchange companies.

A recent report by the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics sheds light on the cumulative value of remittances from Egyptians working abroad over the past decade. The annual breakdown is as follows: $18.5bn in 2013/2014, rising to $19.3bn in 2014/2015 (a 4.4% increase). Subsequently, remittances declined to $17.1bn in 2015/2016 (an 11.7% decrease) but rebounded to $21.8bn in 2016/2017 (a 27.7% increase). The trend continued with further growth: $26.4bn in 2017/2018 (a 21% increase), followed by a dip to $25.2bn in 2018/2019 (a 4.7% decrease). However, remittances climbed to $27.8bn in 2019/2020 (a 10.4% increase), $31.4bn in 2020/2021 (a 13.2% increase), and $31.9bn in 2021/2022 (a 1.6% increase). Unfortunately, they declined to $22.1bn in 2022/2023 (a 30.8% decrease).

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