With a fall of 2.1 percent year-on-year, remittances sent by the overseas Pakistanis were recorded $2.71 billion in July 2021. According to data released by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) on Tuesday, inflows of $2.71 billion were recorded in July 2021. This is the second-highest ever level of remittances reported in the month of July, the central bank added. In terms of growth, remittances increased 0.7pc over the previous month ($2.68 billion in June 2021) and showed a decline by 2.1pc over the same month last year ($2.76 billion in July 2020). This marginal year-on-year decline was largely on account of Eidul Azha, which resulted in fewer working days this July compared to last year, said the SBP. Remittance inflows during July 2021 were mainly sourced from Saudi Arabia ($641 million), United Arab Emirates ($531 million), United Kingdom ($393 million) and the United States ($312 million). The central bank was of the view that proactive policy measures by the government and SBP to incentivise the use of formal channels, curtailed cross-border travel in the face of COVID-19, altruistic transfers to Pakistan amid the pandemic, and orderly foreign exchange market conditions have positively contributed towards the sustained improvement in remittance inflows since last year. Remittances play an important role in the country’s economy that continues to battle widening trade and current account deficits. The country’s trade deficit widened by 85.53pc to $3.104 billion in July 2021 as compared to $1.673 billion in the corresponding month of 2020, said the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS). The import bill in July this year went up 47.90pc to $5.434 billion against $3.674 billion over the corresponding month last year, says the trade data.