KARACHI: Workers’ remittances increased by 9% MoM to $2.284 billion in Sep-2020, as against $2.095 billion in Aug-2020.

Compared to the same month last year, remittances registered a rise of 31% (Sep-2019: $1.740 billion). This was the fourth consecutive month of remittances crossing the $2 billion mark.

On MoM basis, the increase in absolute terms was almost entirely from GCC countries, accounting for US$171mn (91% of the US$188mn increase), whereas Saudi Arabia and UAE contributed US$136mn (72% of the total increase). There was a slight decline seen in other powerhouses of Pak remittances, i.e. USA and UK.

On a quarterly basis, remittances surged to US$7,147mn, recording an increase of 17% QoQ/31% YoY, and US$1,023mn QoQ/ US$1,695mn YoY. The development should come as a relief to policymakers, given the higher trade deficit in Sep-2020 (+US$650mn MoM) as per PBS data, and should help contain the current account deficit.

As per the SBP, the rise was on the back of (1) efforts under the Pakistan Remittances Initiative (which includes efforts at digitization), and (2) resumption of normal business activities in major remittances sources such as Middle East, Europe and USA.