In January 2024, Pakistan witnessed a notable increase in the inflow of overseas workers’ remittances, reaching $2.4 billion, as revealed by data released by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) on Monday. This marks a 1 per cent rise compared to December 2023, where remittances stood at $2.38 billion.

Year-on-year analysis underscores a substantial surge, with a 26 per cent increase from the same period last year, when remittances totaled $1.9 billion in January.

The significance of these remittances cannot be understated, as they play a pivotal role in bolstering Pakistan’s external account and fueling economic activity. Additionally, they serve as a vital supplement to the disposable incomes of households dependent on remittances.

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Despite the uptick in January, the cumulative figure for July-January FY24 reflects a 3 per cent decline year-on-year, amounting to $15.83 billion, down by $386 million from the $16.32 billion recorded in the same period of FY23.

Breaking down the sources of remittances, overseas Pakistanis in Saudi Arabia retained their leading position, contributing $587.3 million in January 2024. This marked a 2 per cent increase from the previous month and a substantial 43 per cent rise from the corresponding period last year.

Remittances from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) experienced a slight dip of 3 per cent month-on-month, decreasing from $419.2 million in December to $407.6 million in January. However, the yearly comparison reveals a remarkable surge of nearly 51 per cent.

The United Kingdom witnessed a marginal decline in remittances, with $362.1 million recorded in January, down by 2 per cent from December 2023.

In contrast, remittances from the European Union saw a significant 20 per cent year-on-year increase and a 2 per cent monthly rise, totaling $290.1 million in January 2024.

Meanwhile, overseas Pakistanis in the United States contributed $283.4 million in January 2024, marking a notable 32 per cent increase from the same period last year.

The consistent flow of remittances, despite fluctuations in individual sources, underscores their enduring importance to Pakistan’s economy and the livelihoods of millions of households reliant on them.