Remittance hits new high at $15.5b

Jannatul Islam

4th January, 2019 10:29:25 printer

Remittance inflow hit its all-time high at $15.53 billion in 2018 as more expatriate Bangladeshis sent money through formal channels amid the appreciation of US dollar against the local currency.

Bangladesh’s remittance inflow saw a 14.83 per cent year-on-year growth to $15.53 billion in 2018 from $13.53 billion in the previous year, according to Bangladesh Bank (BB) data.

Economists said the appreciation of dollar against local currency taka and increased use of official money transfer channels led to the growth in remittance inflow.

Agrani Bank Chairman Zaid Bakht said strong supervision of the central bank helped check the use of illegal money transfer methods while the depreciation of local currency helped increase the fund flow from expatriate Bangladeshis.

“The dollar appreciation in Bangladesh and oil price increase in the global market boosted economies of the Middle East countries which led expatriates to remit more money,” economist Zaid Bakht told the daily sun on Friday.

The exchange rate of the dollar, which was Tk 78.7 in January 2017, increased to Tk 82.9 in January last year and Tk 83.90 on Thursday, according to BB data.

The central bank’s move to increase remittance inflow through the legal channel by taking measures for the prevention of digital hundi was another factor behind the sizeable growth in remittance inflow.   

Remittance dropped to a six-year low to $13.53 billion in 2017 as many expatriate Bangladeshis sent money home through illegal channels.

Before 2018, the country’s highest ever remittance inflow was recorded at $15.3 billion in 2015.