The estimate for 2021 is a $1 billion increase from the central bank’s forecast in October.
Rabat – Morocco’s central bank, Bank Al-Maghrib, expects remittances from Moroccans residing abroad (MREs) to reach MAD 70 billion ($7.8 billion) in 2021.
The bank predicts transfers could rise even further in 2022 to MAD 71.4 billion ($7.97 billion).
Money transfers from MREs stabilized at MAD 65.8 billion ($7.35 billion) this year despite the COVID-19 crisis, which triggered a drop in remittances in April.
In April, one month after the outbreak of COVID-19 in Morocco, remittances reached only MAD 14.53 billion ($1.47 billion). The figure was a 4.7% decrease from March 2019, when remittances totaled MAD 15.25 billion ($1.55 billion).
As the world adjusted to COVID-19, remittances from MREs began to recover.
The bank initially estimated in October that remittances would reach MAD 61.5 billion ($6.6 billion) in 2020, a decrease of 5% from 2019.
However, the bank’s latest figures for 2020 show that the Moroccan diaspora well exceeded this forecast by nearly $1 billion.
In October, Bank Al-Maghrib said it was pleased with the stability of remittances from MREs amid the pandemic.
The same month, the bank carefully predicted remittances to reach only MAD 63 billion ($6.8 billion) in 2021.
But with the global economy steadily recovering from COVID-19 shocks, the bank has since increased this estimate by $1 billion.
In just three months, remittances from MREs have increased by 1.7%, putting Morocco on the right track to continue its economic recovery in 2021.
Morocco’s travel receipts, meanwhile, still have a long road to recovery.
This year, travel receipts amounted to only MAD 29 billion ($3.25 billion) compared to MAD 78.8 billion ($8.84 billion) in 2019.
Bank Al-Maghrib expects travel receipts to experience a gradual recovery next year, reaching MAD 49.9 billion ($5.6 billion), but overall to remain far lower than 2019 figures.
By 2022, travel receipts should significantly increase to MAD 72 billion ($8 billion), according to Morocco’s central bank.