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KARACHI: Workers' remittances continued their exceptional streak in May 2021 and were remained above $2 billion level for a record 12th straight month. Inflows of home remittances, sent by overseas Pakistanis, were amounted to $ 2.5 billion during May 2021 compared to $ 1.865 billion in the same month last year, depicting a healthy growth of 33.5 percent. These inflows were also higher than the monthly average of $ 2.4 billion during July-April FY21.

On a month-on-month basis, workers' remittances fell by 10.4 percent in May 2021 compared to April 2021, in which some $2.8 billion home remittances were arrived. According to SBP, this fall was expected as remittances usually slow in the post Eidul Fitr period. As Eid fell in mid-May 2021 with markets closed a week earlier, there was some front-loading of remittances in April 2021.

However, the seasonal decline in May 2021 was less the half the average decline observed during FY2016-2019. In FY2020, remittances experienced an exceptional rise due to the easing of Covid lockdowns in the post-Eid period in Gulf countries, it added.

On a cumulative basis, remittances surged to all time level of $ 26.7 billion during July-May FY21, higher by 29.4 percent over the same period last year. Remittances during the first eleven months of FY21 have already crossed the full FY20 level by $ 3.6 billion.

Remittance inflows during July-May FY21 were mainly sourced from Saudi Arabia ($7.0 billion), United Arab Emirates ($5.6 billion), United Kingdom ($3.7 billion) and the United States ($2.5 billion).

SBP said that record high inflows of workers' remittances during FY21 have been driven by proactive policy measures by the Government and SBP to incentivize the use of formal channels, curtailed cross-border travel in the face of COVID-19, altruistic transfers to Pakistan amid the pandemic and orderly foreign exchange market conditions.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021