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Remittances soar to $16.1bn

April 11, 2019

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KARACHI: The country received $16.096 billion in remittances during the first nine months of this fiscal year, higher by 8.7 per cent, from $14.80bn in same period last year, reported the State Bank of Pakistan on Wednesday.

This marks an improvement from FY18 when remittances had grown by 4.95pc during July-March over $14.1bn in 9MFY17.

However, in March, inflows from overseas Pakistanis showed a decline of 3.2pc year-on-year to $1.75bn, as against $1.8bn in corresponding month last year. Whereas, on a monthly basis, it increased by 10.74pc from $1.58bn in February.

Highest inflows came from Saudi Arabia, which clocked in at $3.747bn during 9MFY19 – edging higher by 1.5pc – as against $3.69bn in corresponding months of last year. Pakistan received $3.747bn from Saudi Arabia.

United Arab Emirates closely followed with $3.414bn in workers’ remittances during this period, growing by 4.18pc, compared to $3.28bn in 9MFY18.

Highest growth in remittances was noted from USA as inflows jumped 23.6pc to $2.516bn during 9MFY19, making it the third largest source of inflows.

The United Kingdom also recorded healthy growth, as remittances rose 16.9pc to $2.475bn, from $2.18bn. The growth in remittances from USA and UK has been increasing regularly and had posted increase of 17pc and 27pc, respectively in 9MFY18.

However, inflows from the Gulf Cooperation Council countries shrank as they fell by 6.4pc to $1.542bn during July-March FY19, compared to $1.648bn in corresponding months of last year.

Similarly, overseas Pakistanis sent $437.7 million during the nine months, down 8.97pc, from $480.8m in comparative period last year.

The remittances which were close to the size of export proceeds in FY18 could cross the mark of $21bn this year if their monthly average continues at the same level. The monthly average has increased by $129m to $1.79bn during the current financial year, from $1.66bn last year.

Published in Dawn, April 11th, 2019