November remittances surpass US$ 500mn signalling fast normalising inflows

Worker remittances surged beyond US$ 500 million for the second consecutive month in November, data released by the Central Bank showed. 

This not only reflects a seasonal increase but also underscores the sustained momentum observed in funds sent home by Sri Lankan expatriates through official banking channels throughout the greater part of this year, rebounding from a nadir hit last year.
Sri Lankans working abroad sent back US$ 537.3 million as remittances in November, bringing the cumulative eleven-month inflows to US$ 5,399.8 million, an increase of 62.9 percent over the same period in 2022. 
Depreciation of the currency by about 80 percent, which helped to significantly reduce the gap between the official exchange rate and market rates, and the crackdown on unofficial money exchanging channels have primarily contributed to the surge in remittance inflows to the country
this year.

Traditionally, March and December stand out as the two months with the highest volume of remittances, as Sri Lankan expatriates tend to send more money to their family and friends back home due to the festive season.
There is widespread anticipation that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) will release its second tranche of programme funds, amounting to around US$ 330 million this week.

This additional financial support is expected to provide further bolstering to the external sector. The increased remittances in recent months can also be attributed to a record number of departures since last year.
Many individuals left the country in search of job opportunities and improved living conditions amid the economic crisis.
Remittances continue to be the primary source of foreign exchange for Sri Lanka, with the potential to contribute approximately US$ 7.0 billion in a typical year.