Remittances rise 2.8pc in July

Updated August 10, 2019

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These restrained remittance inflows will add to the government’s foreign exchange woes as it tries to plug the current account deficit.
These restrained remittance inflows will add to the government’s foreign exchange woes as it tries to plug the current account deficit.

KARACHI: Foreign remittances during the first month of this fiscal year clocked in at $2.04 billion, up 2.8 per cent compared to $1.98bn in the same period last year, reported the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) on Friday.

However, on a monthly basis, remittances surged 24pc over $1.65bn recorded in June this year.

The country-wise data showed that Saudi Arabia remained as the leading source of inflows as overseas workers in the peninsula sent back $470.95 million during July, higher by 7.65pc from $437.48m in corresponding month last year.

The United Arab Emirates came in second as inflows from the country were recorded at $427.33m. This shows a decline of 4.24pc over last year’s $446.25m and is in stark contrast to the massive growth of 33.04pc posted in 1MFY19.

Meanwhile, inflows from the United States climbed 13.88pc to $332.37m during July, as against $291.87m in same month last year. On the other hand, remittances from the United Kingdom posted a meagre increase of 0.25pc to reach $299.27m, as compared to $298.51m.

Malaysia continued to give a health performance as remittances rose by 19.95pc to $160.36m in July, up from $140.73m. This is line with last year’s trend when inflows from the Southeast Asian country had surged by 70.28pc over the July FY18 level.

However, figures from other Gulf Cooperarion Council were disappointing as inflows edged lower by 0.62pc to $198.06m during the period, from $199.3m. Similarly, remittances from the European Union fell to just $58.30m, down 10.25pc over $64.96m in July FY19.

The latest data is not going to go down well with the government which has been trying to gather foreign inflows from all possible sources, including attempts at boosting exports and turning to friendly countries, in addition to the $6bn International Monetary Fund package. However, most importantly, Prime Minister Imran Khan has tried to encourage overseas Pakistani to send more money back home and recently even held a massive public rally in Washington to appeal to them.

Published in Dawn, August 10th, 2019