Migration and Development Brief
Thematic Working Groups
Data and Demographics
Remittances and Diaspora Resources
East Asia and Pacific
Europe and Central Asia
Latin America and the Caribbean
Middle East and North Africa
The World Region
- Remittance trends. The growth rate of remittances to developing countries is projected to fall from 3.3 percent in 2014 to 2.0 percent in 2015. The impact of slow growth on remittance outflows measured in dollars is compounded by the valuation effects of the U.S. dollar appreciation against the currencies of remittance-source countries, especially the ruble.
- Outlook. Remittances to developing countries are expected to rise by about 4 percent in 2016 and 2017, buoyed by the continuing recovery in the United States and a modest acceleration of economic activity in Europe. However, the potential for further dollar appreciation against the currencies of remittance-sending countries and the possibility of reduced remittance flows from oil-exporting countries should oil prices remain low are important downside risks to this forecast.
- Remittance costs. The global average cost of sending $200 remained at about 7.7 percent in the second quarter of 2015, or approximately 2 percentage points below the level in the first quarter of 2009. Remittance costs varied significantly by region, and within region by corridor. A major risk to the downward trajectory of remittance costs arises from the closure of accounts of money transfer operators by correspondent banks due to concerns related to regulatory compliance. Addressing these concerns would require a clearer distinction between the risks associated with remittance transactions and those with other financial transactions.
- Major policy changes. The recently-adopted Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Addis Ababa Action Agenda on Financing for Development endorse improvements in migration policies, efforts to end human trafficking and promote decent labor conditions for migrant workers, reductions in the costs of remittances and recruitment, and the collection of statistics on migration disaggregated according to migratory status. The Action Agenda also addresses the issue of de-risking by banks and adverse effects of financial regulations on financial inclusion.