Kenyans abroad remitted Sh107.45 billion in the seven months to July, a 5.35 per cent jump compared to a similar period last year, new data by the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) shows.
The performance cements the position of Kenyans living abroad as the country’s top foreign exchange earner ahead of tea exports, tourism, horticulture and coffee.
There was however a second successive decline in the monthly remittances in July — breaking a trend from May when the inflows from abroad hit a monthly record of Sh16.69 billion.
The inflows in July were captured at Sh15.74 billion, the third highest monthly value on record although a marginal 1.66 per cent lower from June’s Sh16 billion.
CBK governor Patrick Njoroge said last week the remittances have been a major driver of the relative stability of the shilling against the US dollar this year.
“The remittances have been resilient. They have just been climbing, climbing, climbing. There’s a balanced (foreign exchange) market on the whole and we see it as something that we support,” Dr Njoroge said.
The shilling has held ground against the greenback and has depreciated by a marginal 0.81 per cent since the beginning of the year through Thursday morning.
Aly-Khan Satchu, the CEO of investment advisory firm Rich Management Group, said on Thursday the actual value of remittances may be underestimated by up to two and a half times.