The value of foreign transfers abroad decreased by 8 percent to 125.5 billion riyals in the past year of 2019, compared to 2018, which amounted to 136.4 billion riyals. And that the remittances recorded decreased for the fourth year in a row for the first time in 15 years, as they decreased in the period from (2001-2004), but in less proportions than the current period.
According to the analysis of the reports unit in the "Al-Iqtisadiya" newspaper, based on the data of the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency "SAMA", foreign transfers during the past year declined at the highest rate compared to previous years, as they decreased during 2018 by 3.7% and 6.7% in the year 2017 as well as 3.2 percent in 2016.
Remittances from foreigners in 2019 recorded their lowest levels since 2012, which is about seven years, and remittances did not witness an annual decline of 8 percent for a long time, as they declined only in the same proportion in 1996. Foreign transfers in 2015 were the largest by about 156.86 billion riyals That is, last year's remittances were about 20 percent lower than their highest levels.
On a quarterly basis, foreign remittances declined during the fourth quarter by about 1.3 percent on an annual basis to register about 32.5 billion riyals, to continue to decline for the fifth consecutive quarter, while the fourth quarter decline is the lowest in terms of decline during the period.
On the other hand, the transfers of Saudis abroad decreased by 3.6 percent in 2019, to continue its decline for the second year in a row, as their transfers amounted to about 58.09 billion riyals, compared to about 60.27 billion riyals for the year 2018, a decrease of 2.18 billion riyals. It is noteworthy that the highest remittances of Saudis abroad were recorded in 2015 by 89.17 billion riyals, so that the remittances of Saudis decreased by 35 percent from their peak, equivalent to 31.1 billion riyals.
* Economic Reports Unit