RIYADH: Monthly foreign remittances have declined by 6.7 percent, down SR907 million from SR13.52 billion in December 2016, reaching SR12.61 billion in January.
According to an Al-Eqtisadiya report, despite having declined, January remittances remain high compared to the SR11.75 billion average remittances over the previous 12 months.
The report showed that annual foreign remittances in January increased overall by 4.86 percent over January 2016.
Remittances were the highest on record in June 2015, when SR15.8 billion were transferred abroad, a positive difference of 20.3 percent or SR3.22 billion higher than the figure of January 2017.
In July 2015, remittances reached the lowest point since February 2013, with only SR10.3 billon sent abroad.
In 2016, a total of SR151.9 billion were transferred by foreign workers to their home countries, compared to SR156.9 billion the previous year, which represented a 3 percent decline of around SR5 billion, constituting the first annual decline after a consecutive 11-year growth trend (between 2005 and 2015).
As for transfers made by Saudi citizens abroad, in January, the report shows a 13.4 percent growth in January, when it reached SR4.95 billion, compared to SR4.37 billion in December 2016.
Transfers in January were the highest since October 2016, when a total of SR5.36 billion was transferred abroad by Saudi nationals. This represents a consecutive three-month increase in transfers abroad.
On an annual basis, however, transfers declined this January by around 8.5 percent from January 2016, when transfers amounted to SR5.41 billion.