DHAKA Feb 3 The amount of money sent home by
Bangladeshis working overseas dropped 5.8 percent to $1.25
billion in January from a year earlier, the central bank said on
Monday, slipping for the sixth straight month.
Millions of expatriate Bangladeshis remitted $8 billion from
July to January, the first seven months of the current financial
year, down nearly 9 percent from the same period in the previous
Officials say remittances have dropped over the last few
months because the number of Bangladeshis going to work in the
Middle East has declined.
Strong remittances in recent years have helped build foreign
exchange reserves to more than $18 billion.
Bangladesh received $14.46 billion in remittances in the
2012/13 fiscal year, up 12.6 percent from a year earlier.
Remittances from about 9 million citizens abroad are
critical for the impoverished nation and are a key source of
foreign exchange alongside garments, which account for 80
percent of total export earnings of about $27 billion a year.
The pace of economic growth in Bangladesh is expected to
slow to less than 6 percent this financial year, largely
because of political turmoil.
(Reporting by Ruma Paul; Editing by Robert Birsel)