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Thursday Nov 12 2020
Web Desk

Fifth consecutive month: Pakistan's remittances remain above $2b

Web Desk
SBP says remittances for October were 'about same level as last month' and were also 14.1% higher than October 2019. Photo: File

Pakistan's inflows remained above $2 billion for the fifth consecutive month in October 2020, the State Bank of Pakistan said on Thursday.

In a statement, the central bank said workers' remittances amounted to $2.3 billion during the last month - a 14.1% increase compared to October 2019. 

With $9.4 billion, the remittances grew by 26.5% during in the first quarter [July-Oct] of the current fiscal year, compared to the previous year. 

A large part of the year-on-year increase in October 2020 was sourced from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia at 30% while United States and United Kingdom stood at 16% and 14%, respectively.

"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 statement reads.

PM Imran Khan says Pakistan headed in right direction

Last month, Prime Minister Imran Khan said that the country is heading in the “right direction” as Pakistan's current account recorded a surplus of $792 million in the first quarter of the ongoing fiscal year 2020-21, with the central bank saying that it is the "first quarterly surplus in more than five years".

“Great news for Pakistan. We are headed in right direction finally,” said PM Imran.

The prime minister shared that the current account was in surplus of $73 million during September, bringing in a surplus for the first quarter to $792 million. He explained that the country had registered a deficit of $1,492 million during the same quarter of the previous year.

"Exports grew 29% and remittances grew 9% over the previous month,” said PM Imran.

Read more: PM Imran announces $424mn current account surplus for July

'First quarterly surplus in five years'

Meanwhile, the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) said that it was the first quarterly surplus in more than five years.

"In September, the current account posted a surplus for a third successive month. The surplus reached $73 million against a deficit of $278 million a year earlier," said the SBP in a series of tweets.

It added that "the current account recorded a surplus of $792 million in Q1-FY21, the first quarterly surplus in more than 5 years".

Read more: Pakistani rupee among Asia's top 3 best performing currencies

The SBP also shared that the continued buoyancy in remittances is up by 9% on a month on month basis. It added that the broad-based rebound in exports increased by 29% on a month on month basis which led to the current account surplus in September.

"Imports also picked up in line with the on-going revival in domestic economic activity," said the SBP.

Last month, the central bank had announced that Pakistan had registered a current account surplus for the second straight month in August on account of remittances sent in by the expatriates as well as cheaper imports.

In its statement, the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) said the Current Account Balance (CAB) surplus "amounted to $508 mn and $297 mn during July and August 2020", respectively.

Also, the cumulative current account surplus came in at $0.805 billion in the July-August 2021 period, as opposed to a deficit worth $1.2 billion in the comparable time frame, last year, the SBP said on Twitter.