Remittances increase by $9.9 million
Total private remittances sent to Samoa for May 2021 was 23 per cent or $9.9 million higher than the previous month, according to data provided by the Central Bank of Samoa.
The figures were revealed in a recent monthly report on Visitor Earnings & Remittances issued by the C.B.S. this week. However, the total private remittances for May 2021 recorded a drop of 8.6 per cent (or $5.0 million) to $53.3 million over May 2020.
According to the report, the decrease in private remittances over the year was accounted for by reductions in funds from Australia which was down by $9.1 million.
And the ‘others’ category was also down by $0.4 million whereas by recipient, reductions were also recorded for ‘family and households’ (down by $8.9 million), and ‘others’ (down by $0.5 million).
Though, total private remittances in the first 11 months of the financial year 2020/2021 went up by 7.7 per cent (or $39.7 million) to $555.1 million over the same period last year.
Furthermore, the report states that accounting for this increase in the first 11 months were higher transfers from Australia (up by $20.9 million), New Zealand (up by $19.9 million) and American Samoa (up by $17.3 million).
This increase was partially aided by the depreciation of the Samoan Tala against both Australian dollar (by 5.8 per cent) and New Zealand dollar (by 3.9 per cent).
As for recipients, total funds for ‘Families and Households’ increased by $109.9 million in the first eleven months of FY2020/2021.
The monthly share of total remittances inflows received directly through Money Transfer operators (MTO’s) decreased to 86.4 per cent from 92.5 per cent in May 2020 whilst funds received directly through commercial banks increased to 13.6 per cent from 7.5 per cent in May 2020.
“As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to wreak havoc all over the world, Samoa maintains the closure of its international borders (for more than a year now), allowing only intermittent repatriation flights for returning citizens,” reads the report.
However, this has severely affected Samoa’s tourism sector which continues to record no tourist arrivals and earnings for the month under review.