October remittances grow 14pc to $2.3bn

Foreign remittances top $2bn for fifth consecutive month

ISLAMABAD: Workers’ remittances amounted to $2.3 billion during October 2020, showing an increase of 14.1 per cent when compared with October 2019.

This is for the fifth consecutive month that workers’ remittances remained above $2 billion, according to latest figures released by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) on Thursday.

A large part of the year-on-year (YoY) increase in October this year, 30pc, was sourced from Saudi Arabia, 16pc from the United States of America and 14.6pc from the United Kingdom (UK).

“Improvements in Pakistan’s FX market structure and its dynamics, efforts under the Pakistan Remittances Initiative (PRI) to formalise the flows and limited cross-border travelling contributed to the growth in remittances,” the SBP stated.

Meanwhile, on a cumulative basis, workers’ remittances rose 26.5pc to $9.4bn during the first four months of FY21, when compared with July-Oct FY20.

“These numbers were expected. The whole South Asia region is getting above-average inward remittances due to lockdown and reduction in flights and movement of unofficial funds,” said Muhammad Sohail of Topline Securities.

“In the short-run, this [the increase in remittances] will support local currency,” he added.

Earlier, a World Bank report had projected that remittances to Pakistan to grow at about 9pc in 2020, totalling about $24bn.

The World Bank attributed this increase to the diversion of remittances from informal to formal channels due to the difficulty of carrying money by hand under travel restrictions.

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