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Remittances soar to $14.4bn

Updated March 12, 2019

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Since the beginning of 2018-19, remittances have been on an upward trajectory.— AFP/File
Since the beginning of 2018-19, remittances have been on an upward trajectory.— AFP/File

KARACHI: The country received $14.35 billion in foreign remittances during the first eight months of the current fiscal year, reported the State Bank of Pakistan on Monday.

This represented an increase of 11.8 per cent in inflows from $12.83bn in same period last year. Since the beginning of 2018-19, remittances have been on an upward trajectory which is an encouraging sign for the economy struggling with external deficit.

In February, remittances grew 8.69pc year-on-year to $1.58bn, from $1.45bn in same month last year. However, they decreased 9.58pc month-on-month from January, when the figure was recorded at $1.74bn.

Saudi Arabia remained the biggest source of inflows as they grew by 2.41pc to $3.34bn during the eight months, from $3.26bn in corresponding period last year. Meanwhile in 8MFY18, remittances had recorded a decline of 8.7pc. The kingdom also placed $3bn with SBP during the period to support Pakistan’s foreign exchange reserves.

United Arab Emirates closely followed with remittances from the country jumping by 6.75pc to $3.036bn as against $2.84bn in 8MFY18. The UAE also signed an agreement for depositing $3bn in SBP’s account to lend support to the country’s dollar stock.

Highest growth in the remittances was noted from the United States which soared by 31.2pc to $2.245bn in 8MFY19 versus $1.71bn in same period last year. During July-February 2017-18, inflows from US had posted an increase of 12.2pc.

Similarly, inflows from the United Kingdom rose 22.8pc to $2.194bn during the eight months, from $1.79bn. However, remittances from the other Gulf Cooperation Council countries shrank, decreasing by 6.13pc to $1.374bn as compared to $1.46bn.

Meanwhile, inflows from the European Union were reported at $393 million, down 6pc, from $420m.

Published in Dawn, March 12th, 2019