BSP expects remittances to hit $28B
The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) expects cash remittances from Filipinos working and living abroad to reach another record-high of $28 billion by the end of the year.
The BSP kept the 4-percent remittances growth target for 2017, although the value of the updated forecast was higher than the earlier projection of $27.7 billion.
Cash sent home by overseas Filipinos through banks hit a record $26.9 billion in 2016, up 5 percent from $25.6 billion in 2015.
But BSP Deputy Governor Diwa C. Guinigundo told reporters Friday that the immigration policy of US President Donald Trump might impact on remittance flows as well as business process outsourcing (BPO) industry revenues.
Guinigundo also noted of other international issues, such as the Qatar crisis in the Middle East.
In April, cash remittances fell to $2.083 billion, a 15-month low.
The BSP blamed the stronger US dollar, the decline in remittances from land-based workers, and the repatriation of Filipino workers under the Saudi Arabian amnesty program for the drop in cash transfers at the start of the second quarter.
At the end of the first four months, cash remittances grew by 4.2 percent to $9.036 billion from $8.67 billion in the same period last year.
Remittances are the largest source of foreign exchange income for the country, helping insulate the domestic economy from external shocks by ensuring the steady supply of dollars into the system.—BEN O. DE VERA
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