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August 11, 2018

Remittances increase 25.17pc to $1.929bln in July


August 11, 2018

KARACHI: Remittances from expatriate Pakistani rose 27.17 percent year-on-year in July 2018, the central bank data showed on Friday.

Remittances to Pakistan totaled $1.929 billion in July 2018, compared with $1.541 billion in July last year. In June, the amount was $1.594 billion.

The SBP’s figures showed that the trend in workers’ remittances remained same. Inflows from the United States depicted highest growth of 44.73 percent to stand at $280.34 million in July.

The US was followed by the United Kingdom, with $277.21 million in July 2018, compared with $199.18 million in the corresponding period of last year.

The low unemployment rate in both USA and UK amid rising economic activities and appreciation of their currencies against the rupee led to higher remittances from the western countries.

Remittances from Saudi Arabia depicted some improvement during the period in review. Remittances sent home by workers living in Saudi Arabia increased 7 percent to $437.48 million in July FY2018/19.

Earlier, remittances from Saudi Arabia were on decline. Fiscal consolidation and job nationalisation policies undertaken by the Saudi government restricted foreign labour demand in the kingdom, which also led to repatriation of a number of foreign workers to their home countries.

Remittances from the UAE rose 29.52 percent to $433.42 million. Remittances from Dubai amounted to $308.80 million in July, compared with $240.65 in the same month of the last fiscal year. Inflows from Dubai increased sharply after October 2014, and remained strong since then.

Remittances from other Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries stood at $199.31 million against $192.02 million last year.

The central bank sees an encouraging outlook for remittance flows during FY19.

“Going forward, the recent tax reform is expected to further stimulate the US economy, as investment is picking up in the country,” the SBP said in its third quarterly report.

“Higher employment in US is likely to augment remittances inflow in Pakistan. In addition, Saudi Arabia plans to build a mega city, ‘Neom,’ on the Red Sea coast that will stretch into Egypt and Jordan. As labour demand may resurge in the KSA, the declining trend of remittances from the kingdom may reverse in the near future.” Remittances came in at $19.622 billion in the last fiscal year.

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