- This is a 28% increase on a monthly basis
- Cumulative inflow during nine-month period (July-March) reaches record $22.95bn
Workers' remittances increased 28.3% month-on-month in March 2022, amounting to $2.81 billion, the highest figure on a monthly basis in Pakistan's history, according to data released by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) on Thursday.
“With $2.8 billion of inflows during March 2022, workers' remittances continued their unprecedented run of remaining above $2 billion since June 2020,” said the SBP.
“This is the highest ever monthly level for workers’ remittances,” it added.
“In terms of growth, during March 2022, remittances increased by 28.3% on m/m basis and 3.2% on y/y basis.”
During the nine months of FY22 (July-March), remittances have risen to a record $22.95 billion, 7.1% higher than the same period last year, added the central bank.
Remittances inflows during March 2022 were mainly sourced from Saudi Arabia ($678 million), United Arab Emirates ($515 million), United Kingdom ($401 million) and the United States of America ($300 million).
“The increase in remittance inflows comes on the back of the Ramazan factor,” Tahir Abbas, Head of Research at Arif Habib Limited (AHL), told Business Recorder. He added this may continue in the month of April as well.
The expert was of the view that remittance inflows were on the lower side in the last two months owing to the easing of travel restrictions. “The remittance figures will stabilise to above $2 billion per month, and are most likely to cross the $31 billion mark by the end of this fiscal year,” he said.
Pakistan heavily relies on remittance inflows to boost its foreign currency reserves that remain under pressure due to a high current account deficit, imports and external debt repayments.
Last week, reserves held by the SBP decreased by a further $728 million, falling to $11.32 billion with the decrease “largely due to debt repayment and government payment pertaining to the settlement of an arbitration award related to a mining project", said the SBP.
Total liquid foreign reserves held by the country fell to $17.48 billion. Net foreign reserves held by commercial banks stood at $6.16 billion.