March private remittances drop by $8.3million

By Adel Fruean 02 May 2020, 8:00PM

Private remittances for March 2020 dropped by $8.3million to $46.3 million compared to $54.62 million in March last year.

The figure was highlighted in the “Visitor Earnings and Remittances Report March 2020” issued on 29 April 2020. The information in the report was jointly sourced by the Central Bank of Samoa, Samoa Bureau of Statistics and the Ministry for Revenue.

“Primarily contributing to the overall decrease over the year was less funds received from USA (down $5.6 million), Australia (down $5.5 million) and Others’ (down $0.3 million),” reads the report.

It  added that by recipient, decreases were recorded for ‘Non-profit institutions serving households’ (N.P.I.S.H.) which was (down $8.7 million), ‘Hand carried cash’ (down $2.5 million) and ‘Others’ (down $2.2 million).  

The report also acknowledged the Prime Minister of New Zealand, Jacinda Ardern for accepting Prime Minister Tuilaepa Dr. Sailele Malielegaoi's humble request for the inclusion of money transfer operators’ agents as essential services during the lockdown. 

“This has helped immensely in ensuring that the vulnerable groups and communities in Samoa continue to receive much needed remittance from their loving families in New Zealand.”

The total inflow of private remittances in the first nine months of 2019/20 went up by 1.7 per cent or $7.0 million to $416.1 million over the same period last year.

It is largely responsible for the overall increase in the first nine months were gains in transfers from New Zealand which was (up $17.4 million), Others’ (up $4.2 million) and American Samoa (up $2.8 million). 

“Partially responsible for the increase in remittances was the 2.8 per cent depreciation of the Samoan Tala against the US dollar.

“By recipient, total funds for ‘Family and Households’ and ‘In-Kind’ all increased by $15.5 million and $3.1 million respectively.”

The share of remittance inflows over the year through money transfer operators (MTOs) widened to 79.3 per cent from 66.9 per cent whilst funds received directly through the commercial banks contracted to 20.7 percent from 33.1 per cent. 

The average cost of sending NZD $200.00 to Samoa narrowed to 7.82 per cent from 9.05 percent in March 2019 whereas the average cost of sending AUD $200.00 to Samoa also fell to 7.02 percent from 8.25 per cent in the same month of 2019.   

By Adel Fruean 02 May 2020, 8:00PM

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