Remittances grew at fastest pace since ’09 | Inquirer Business
Close  

Remittances grew at fastest pace since ’09

Inflows picked up in March to breach $2-B mark

Cash sent home by migrant workers in March grew at its fastest pace since 2009, beating analysts’ projections and recovering from slowdowns

earlier in the year.

ADVERTISEMENT

Data from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) showed remittances from overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) breached the $2-billion mark last March, matching levels previously seen only in the second half of the year.

The BSP attributed the increase to sustained demand for migrant workers as well as the continued expansion of banks overseas, which makes it easier for OFWs to send money home.

FEATURED STORIES

“Remittances remained strong partly on account of sustained demand for skilled Filipino manpower overseas,” the BSP said in a statement.

In March, cash remittances reached $2.1 billion, rising 11.3 percent year-on-year. This was the fastest expansion since December 2009 when remittances rose 11.4 percent. Year-to-date, remittances were up 5.5 percent to $5.79 billion.

Leading sources of remittances to the Philippines were the United States, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, Singapore, Japan, Hong Kong and Canada.

The increase in March defied a global trend of slowing remittances to emerging markets. Both Standard Chartered and ING projected more moderate remittance growth in March for the Philippines, citing weak economic conditions in areas such as the Middle East, home to a significant portion of the country’s 10 million OFWs.

Meanwhile, the World Bank said in a report last April that the global flow of remittances to developing countries like the Philippines would slow to a trickle in 2015, growing by just 0.9 percent year-on-year to a total of $440 billion.

The 2015 remittance growth rates could be the slowest since the global financial crisis of 2008, the bank said. The Philippines is the third-leading recipient of remittances in the world.

Unlike neighboring countries that rely on earnings from exports for foreign exchange revenues, the Philippines counts remittances from OFWs as the biggest source of dollar income for the economy. This ensures a steady supply of foreign exchange, which the government and local companies need to do business with the rest of the world.

ADVERTISEMENT

A shortage of dollars, known as a balance of payments (BOP) crisis, will force the country to buy foreign exchange from overseas at higher rates to pay for imported goods or to meet debt obligations.

Last year, about $24 billion in remittances entered the country, fueling the prosperity of industries such as real estate and consumer goods.

Read Next
Don't miss out on the latest news and information.

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

TAGS: Business, ofws, Remittances
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.

Curated business news

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and
acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.



© Copyright 1997-2021 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.