Remittance rebound on stream

Jan receipts grow 16pc to $1.96b

| Updated: February 02, 2023 09:33:01

Remittance rebound on stream

Remittance rebound, after recent recession, is on stream as Bangladesh received around 16-percent higher foreign funds in January from remitters from previous month's amount.

Officials concerned sound upbeat as they say although the monthly growth in inward remittance is not so high, it gives some sort of respite to the country's foreign-exchange market that has been under immense stress in recent months.

The dollar-supply dearth makes the greenback costlier. As a spillover effect, the import costs keep mounting and it ultimately raises the inflationary pressure that burns a hole in commoners' pocket.

Latest Bangladesh Bank (BB) data show in the just-past month, Bangladeshi nationals working abroad sent in foreign currencies worth US$ 1.96 billion, up 15.97 per cent compared to the earnings in December when the US$400-billion-plus economy received US$1.69 billion.

On year-on-year basis, the country registered around 15-percent increase in remittance as expatriates remitted home US$1.70 billion in the same period of 2022.

Islami Bank Bangladesh Limited netted the highest volume of remittance worth US$354.94 million followed by Mercantile Bank 121.04 million, Al-Arafah Islami Bank Limited US$117.10 million and Agrani Bank US$ 104.24 million.

According to the central bank data the remittance inflows started dropping in August last when the earnings came down to US$ 2.03 billion from July's US$2.09 billion. In September, the figure got emaciated to US$ 1.53 billion while US$1.52 billion and US$ 1.59 billion in October and November respectively.

Seeking anonymity, a BB official said the central bank's tight monitoring over informal channel like Hundi alongside introduction of single exchange rate for all banks started delivering.

"We're hopeful that upward trend will be continuing in the coming days also as a record number of Bangladeshi people find jobs in overseas markets in recent months," he added.

The country's foreign-currency reserves continued on the decline over the last several months, standing at US$32.29 billion until January 26, 2023 by official count.

Independent economic analysts, however, put the real forex figure in reserve to lower levels.

The crunch led to government belt-tightening on spending and import restrictions on non-essential goods. Under its domino effect, consumer prices kept spiraling.

The downturn prompted the government to gear up drives for recharging the forex reserves with loans from development financiers. And an announcement on IMF board approval for a US$4.50-billion loan package just came Tuesday.

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