Remittances increase by $6.6 million

Private remittances for the month of April 2021 have recorded an increase of 18.0 per cent or $6.6 million to $43.4 million but is 15.1 per cent or $7.7 million lower compared to the previous month. 

The increase was highlighted in a recent monthly report on Visitor Earnings & Remittances issued by the Central Bank of Samoa.

According to the report, primarily contributing to the overall expansion in private remittances over the year were the increase in funds received from New Zealand which was up by $4.8 million. 

And remittances from Australia increased by $1.6 million, with others by $1.2 million and American Samoa (by $0.2 million) respectively.

In terms of recipients, funds for ‘family and households’ went up by $6.6 million, ‘others’ (up by $0.70 million), ‘in kind’ (up by $0.1 million) and ‘hand carried cash’ (up by $0.04 million), offsetting reductions in ‘non-profit institutions serving households'.

As a result, total private remittances in the first ten months of 2020/2021 grew by 9.5 per cent (or $43.3 million) to $500.4 million over the same period last year. 

In addition, largely responsible for the overall increase in the first ten months were higher transfers from Australia (up by $29.8 million), New Zealand (up by $17.7 million) and American Samoa (up by $ 14.6 million). 

Partially responsible for this expansion was the depreciation of the Samoan Tala against both the Australian dollar (by 5.6 per cent) and New Zealand dollar (by 3.5 percent). 

In terms of recipients, total funds received by ‘families and households’ jumped by $117.3 million, offsetting reductions in all other recipients. 

The monthly share of total remittances inflows received directly through money transfer operators increased to 92.5 per cent from 82.8 per cent in April 2020, while those received directly through commercial banks fell to 7.5 per cent from 17.2 per cent in the same month last year. 

“With the ongoing closure of Samoa’s international borders for the purpose of safeguarding and protecting of 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,” reads the report. 

Furthermore, the report states that both tourist arrivals and earnings remained at zero for the month of April 2021.

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