Remittances in August increase
Samoa received $57.5 million in total private remittances for the month of August which marks an increase of 7.7 per cent from the previous month.
The latest figures were released in a publication titled "Visitor Earnings & Remittances report for August 2021" authored by the Central Bank of Samoa.
According to the report total private remittances improved by 5.5 per cent or $2.9 million to $57.5 million when compared to the same month last year.
However, it has also recorded a seasonal increase of 7.7 per cent or $4.1 million over the previous month.
Furthermore, largely underpinning this overall increase over the year were higher transfers from Australia (up by $2.8 million). And also from America (up by $2.1 million) and American Samoa (up by $0.1 million).
“In terms of recipients, funds for ‘family and households’ and ‘in kind’ expanded by $6.7 million and $0.03 million respectively,” read the report.
It also added that total inflow of private remittances in the first two months of 2021/2022 recorded a drop of 0.5 per cent (or $0.5 million) to $111.0 million over the same period last year.
“Largely responsible for this decrease were reductions in funds received from Australia (down by $2.4 million) and ‘others’ (down by $2.2 million) respectively.
“This decrease was partially aided by the appreciation of the Samoan Tala against the US dollar by 2.5 per cent.
“By recipients, total funds for ‘non-profit institutions serving households and ‘others’ decreased by $5.7 million, and $0.5 million respectively.”
In addition, the monthly share of total remittances inflows received directly through Money Transfers operators (MTO’s) contracted to 82.6 per cent from 90 per cent in August 2020.
“Whereas funds received directly through commercial banks edged up to 17.4 per cent from 10.0 percent in the same month last year.”
Additionally, the average monthly cost of sending NZD $200 to Samoa narrowed to 7.90 per cent from 10.35 per cent in August 2020 whereas the average cost of sending AUD $200 also decreased to 6.88 per cent from 8.70 per cent over the year.
“The ongoing closure of Samoa’s international borders for the safeguarding and protection of its people from the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic with the exception of scheduled repatriation flights solely for returning citizens has continued to severely affect the tourism industry.
“As both tourist arrivals and earnings remained at zero for the seventeenth consecutive month.”