KARACHI: Overseas Pakistanis sent remittances amounting to $3.19 billion in the first two months of 2015-16, which translates into a year-on-year (YoY) increase of 5.4%, according to data released by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) on Thursday.

Remittances amounted to a little over $3 billion in the same months of the preceding fiscal year. On a month-on-month basis, however, remittances recorded a decrease of 8.2% in August, SBP data shows.

Pakistanis based in foreign countries sent home $18.4 billion in 2014-15, which translated into a YoY increase of 16.5%.

Inflows from Saudi Arabia were the largest source of remittances in July-August. They amounted to $957.7 million in the last two months, up 12.5% from the corresponding period of last year.

Remittances received in July-August from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) increased 7% to $686.6 million on a year-on-year basis. Inflows from the UAE had registered the largest increase (26.1%) from any major remittance-sending country in 2014-15, SBP data shows.

Remittances from the United States and the United Kingdom remained $454.9 million and $438.6 million, respectively, in July-August. The YoY change in remittances from the US and the UK has been -6.8% and 2%, respectively.

Remittances from Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, excluding Saudi Arabia and the UAE, clocked up at $391.6 million in July-August, which is 16.9% higher than the remittances received from these countries in the same months of the preceding fiscal year.

Remittances from Kuwait in July equalled $125.6 million while those from Oman, Bahrain and Qatar amounted to $128.4 million, $78.9 million and $58.6 million, respectively.

This means the overall share of the oil-rich GCC countries in Pakistan is almost 64%. Many analysts fear remittances from these countries may dwindle going forward, as their governments begin to scale back infrastructure spending in the wake of a sharp fall in global oil prices.

Remittances received from Norway, Switzerland, Australia, Canada, Japan and ‘other countries’ last month amounted to $97.26 million as opposed to $90.96 million received in the same month of 2014. Remittances had grown 13.7% in 2013-14, compared to YoY increase of 16.5% in 2014-15.


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