KARACHI: Foreign remittances grew to $13.3 billion in remittances during the first seven months of this fiscal year, from $12.774bn in the corresponding period of 2018-19.
Inflows from workers abroad rose by just 4.13 per cent during July-January period of 2019-20 as compared to a healthy growth of 10.8pc in the same months of FY19.
However, remittances declined 9.06pc to $1.907bn in January as compared to $2.097bn in December 2019 while jumping by 9.34pc over $1.744bn in same month last year.
As is the norm, remittances from Saudi Arabia remained the highest as they edged up 2.69pc to $3.051bn during 7MFY20, as compared to $2.971bn in correponding period last year.
The UAE was the second largets source with remittances from the country coming in at $2.745bn during July-January 2019-20, inching up by 1.73pc over $2.698bn in 7MFY19.
Inflows shrink 9.06pc to $1.907bn in January from December 2019
Meanwhile, overseas Pakistanis in the United States sent $2.224bn during the period under review, exhbiting an increase of 10.96pc versus $2.005bn in same months of 201819.
Inflows from the United Kingdom rose 5.6pc to $2.052bn, from $1.942bn, which falls well short of the 17.9pc year-on-year growth rate witnessed in 2018-19.
Remittances from other Gulf Cooperation Council countries also increased by 4.32pc to $1.275bn in 7MFY20, from $1.222bn. This represents a reversal in trend as in July-December 2018-19, infows shrank by 7pc.
Malaysia, which has lately emerged as another key source for inflows, showed a meagre growth of just 1.46pc compared to a whopping 48.7pc recorded in same period last year. Remittances from the Southeast Asian country stood at $922 million, from $908m.
Remittances from the EU countries were $386m in 7MFY20, higher by 8.6pc over $356m in corresponding months of last year.
The monthly average remittance amounted to $1.9bn, indicating that the country could receive up to $22.8bn at the end of this fiscal year. These inflows from workers abroad are a key factor bringing down the current account deficit.
Despite low growth in remittances, the exchange rate has remained stable with subdued demand for dollars in both the interbank and open markets.
Published in Dawn, February 13th, 2020