The World Bank released its latest statistics on remittances around the world in which it foresees a quasi-constant level of inflows to Lebanon for 2012. This indeed mirrors the confidence of the diaspora in the local banking sector as they were not dissuaded from transferring money despite the sporadic developments the country had witnessed in 2011 and so far in 2012.
In details, inflows of remittances to Lebanon would post a slight decline of 0.4% to reach a total of US$ 7,578 million in 2012, against US$ 7,612 million in 2011. Last year, remittances were almost equal to those of the previous one, reporting also a mere decline of 0.1% from US$ 7,619 million in 2010. It is worth mentioning that such statistics are preliminary estimates and are subjected to significant margins of errors and omissions.
For the past three years, Lebanon managed to sustain its regional position as the second highest receiver of remittances amongst countries within MENA geography after Egypt. Yet, its share of the region’s total has been on a downward path from 19.2% in 2010 to 18.1% in 2011 and to an anticipated 16.5% in 2012. When measuring remittances against Lebanon’s nominal GDP, the share also posted a downward path, declining from circa 21% in 2010 to 19% in 2011 and to a foreseen 18% in 2012.
A snapshot of inflows across the MENA region in 2012 shows that Lebanon would be surpassed by Egypt (US$ 17,971 million) but would exceed Morocco, Jordan and Tunisia each with a total of US$ 7,014 million, US$ 3,530 million and US$ 2,202 million, respectively.
Lebanon Weekly Monitor – Audi Research