Another setback for Pakistan at the economic front
In August 2023, the remittances sent by overseas Pakistanis experienced a significant decline of 24 percent, amounting to $2.09 billion. This decline, equating to $651 million less than the inflows recorded in the same month the previous year, raised concerns about the country's economic stability. Nevertheless, there was a glimmer of hope as the data released by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) indicated a 3 percent increase in inflows for August 2023 when compared to the previous month.
Breaking down the remittance figures, Saudi Arabia emerged as the leading contributor with $490 million, followed by the United Kingdom (UK) at $331 million, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) at $308 million, European Union (EU) countries at $290 million, and the United States (US) at $262 million.
Despite these contributions, Saudi Arabia experienced a substantial 29 percent year-on-year (YoY) decrease in remittances, while the UAE, UK, and US saw declines of 43 percent, 10 percent, and 12 percent, respectively. In contrast, remittances from European Union (EU) countries increased by 4 percent.
Moving beyond August, the first two months of the fiscal year 2023-24 (2MFY24) showed a broader trend of remittance decline. During this period, remittances amounted to $4.122 billion, reflecting a significant 22 percent drop compared to the same timeframe in the previous fiscal year.
This data underscored the need for Pakistan to address the challenges affecting its remittance inflows and explore strategies to stabilize this crucial source of income for the nation