Sri Lanka worker remittances hit record US$813mn in Dec 2020, full year up

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s foreign remittances in December 2020 grew 22.2 percent from a year earlier to 813 million dollars, which is a historic high, Director of Economic Research at Sri Lanka’s central bank Chandranath Amarasekara said.

“With regard to worker’s remittances also during the first wave we expected a decline,” Amarasekara said.

“But in fact we have seen a healthy growth.”

“During December the highest ever recorded monthly remittance of 813 million US dollars had been recorded. That is 22.2 percent year on year growth compared to December 2019”.

According to some expatriate Sri Lankans they are remitting more money home as they are saving more and are unable to spend in the resident countries due to Coronavirus restrictions, which have curtailed travel, entertainment and shopping. Concerns over the future are also driving savings.

Sri Lanka’s full year remittances had grown 5.5 percent to 7.1 billion US dollars, up from 6.717 billion dollars in 2019, Amarasekara said.

In 2019 total remittances dropped 4.3 percent from 7,015 million dollars in 2018 continuing a trend seen earlier.

Sri Lanka has been getting higher remittances despite thousands of expatriate workers returning.

About 70,000 expatriate Sri Lankans had so far returned to the country.

Authorities say about 60,000 more had registered to return. (Colombo/Jan19/2021)





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