March remittances jump by $10 million

Private remittances for March 2021 rose by $10 million to reach $51.1 million according the Central Bank of Samoa's “Visitor Earnings and Remittances Report March 2021” which was issued this week. 

The information in the report was jointly sourced by the Central Bank of Samoa, the Samoa Bureau of Statistics and the Ministry for Revenue.

According to the report, it states that the total remittances for March 2021 also increased by 9 per cent or $4.2 million to $51.1 million when compared to the same month last year. 

“This improvement over the year was accounted for by increases in funds received from ‘Other’ countries (up by $10.1 million), American Samoa (up by $1.7 million) and Australia (up by $1.4 million) respectively,” the report said.

It also stated that by recipient, increases were recorded for ‘Family and Households’ (up by $7.0 million), ‘Non-profit institutions serving households (up by $0.5 million) and ‘In Kind’ (up by $0.1 million), offsetting decreases in “Hand-carried cash’ and ‘Others’.

In the first nine months of 2020-2021, total private remittances were 9.0 per cent or $37.0 million higher at $457.0 million over the same period of 2019/2020.

“Accounting for this increase were gains in transfers from Australia (up by $28.3 million), American Samoa (up by $14.4 million) and New Zealand (up by $12.9 million) in that order.

“This increase was partially aided by the depreciation of the Samoan Tala against both the Australian dollar (by 5.0 per cent) and New Zealand dollar (by 3.0 per cent). 

“By recipient, remittances for ‘Family and Households’ rose by $111.0 million, offsetting reductions in all other recipients.”

Additionally, the monthly share of total remittances inflows received through Money Transfer Operators increased from 79.5 per cent in March 2020 to 90.5 per cent in March 2021 while those received directly through commercial banks fell to 9.5 per cent from 20.5 per cent in the same month last year. 

For the last 12 consecutive months tourism has recorded zero earnings and arrivals as of March this year.

The Central Bank also highlighted that the prolonged closure of Samoa’s international borders for the purpose of safeguarding and protecting its people from the deadly COVID-19 pandemic with the exception of repatriation flights for returning Samoan citizens only has continued to adversely affect the tourism industry. 

“In this regard, there were no tourist arrivals and earnings recorded for the last 12 consecutive months,” the report concluded.

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