Diaspora remittances hit an all-time high with North America remitting the most

Remittances by Kenyans living abroad hit a new high in May, a report by Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) point indicates.

CBK in a monthly data report it released early this week shows remittances by Kenyans living abroad were $161.50 million (sh16.78 billion) for May.

This was a steep growth of 10. 04 per cent. At the same period last year, remittances by Diaspora residents stood at $146.76 million (sh15.25 billion).

“The May 2017 improvement reflects higher inflows from North America and Europe,” cited CBK in the remittances report.

The May remittances have broken a record set in December 2016 where the Diaspora sent in $160.94 million (16.72 billion).

This has been the highest amount recorded in the last year.

CBK tracks month-on month inflows from formal channels.

The new record in May has compounded that Kenya’s largest source of foreign exchange is Diaspora remittances followed by tea export and tourism.

The report further indicates remittances by Kenyans living and working in North America rose by 9.1 per cent month-on-month to $77.30 million (sh8.03 billion).

North America remittances alone, stood at 48 per cent of the total remittances made in the month of May.

Inflows from Europe however, posted an impressive growth in May of 23. 7 per cent.

It posted $55.4 million (sh5.76 billion) compared to April’s $44.80 million (sh4.66 billion).

In the last 12 months through May, cumulative remittances have posted a higher growth by 6.7% to $1.75 billion (sh181.84 billion).

“Remittances as a share of GDP stabilized at 2.3 per cent over the 12 months to May 2017,” read report further.