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Remittance earnings surge, signing economic resilience

June 10, Colombo (LNW): Remittance earnings from Sri Lankan expatriates remained robust throughout May, with the country receiving a total of US$ 544.4 million during the month.

This figure represents an increase from both the levels recorded in the previous month and those from the same period last year.

In April of this year, Sri Lanka received remittances amounting to US$ 543.8 million, while in May of the previous year, the figure stood at US$ 479.7 million.

Over the five-month period leading up to May, remittances to the country totalled US$ 2,624.4 million, marking an 11.8 per cent increase compared to the corresponding period the year before.

The normalisation of Sri Lanka’s remittance inflows coincided with government efforts to crack down on informal money exchanges offering substantial premiums over the official exchange rate.

Additionally, the depreciation of the rupee encouraged expatriates to redirect their earnings through formal banking channels, a departure from previous practices of utilising informal channels for repatriation.

Furthermore, a notable increase in the number of individuals departing for foreign employment contributed to Sri Lanka’s steady receipt of foreign currency each month.

The country anticipates remittances reaching approximately US$ 7.0 billion in 2024, aligning with levels observed in 2020.

In recent years, remittance income had weakened, amounting to US$ 5,491.5 million in 2021 and further declining to US$ 3,789.5 million in 2022.

This decline was partly attributed to political campaigns spreading false information aimed at dissuading migrants from sending money back to Sri Lanka, falsely alleging theft of dollars and concocting stories about funds being diverted to other countries.

With remittance flows stabilising and the tourism sector gradually recovering, the Sri Lankan economy is exhibiting signs of renewed strength.

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