February remittances rise 1.5% to $2.3 billion

THE steady stream of remittances is seen to provide the necessary support to the country’s growth through sustained fuel to local household consumption.

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) on Monday reported that around $2.3 billion worth of cash remittances entered the local economy in February. This level of cash remittances is 1.5 percent higher than the cash remittances sent by Filipino migrant workers in the same month last year.

The 1.5-percent growth rate is the slowest monthly expansion of cash remittances to the country in six months, or since August last year when it posted a 0.9-percent contraction.

For the first two months of 2019, cash remittances amounted to $4.78 billion, a 3-percent rise from the $4.65- billion level in the same January-to-February period last year.

According to the BSP, this growth was supported by the increase in remittances from both land-based and sea-based workers. In particular, cash remittances from land-based workers hit $3.73 billion in the first two months of the year, rising by 1 percent from the same period last year.

Meanwhile, remittances from sea-based workers hit $1.06 billion, rising by 10.5 percent from the same period last year.

By country source, the United States registered the highest share of overall remittances for the period at 35.5 percent. It was followed by Saudi Arabia, Singapore, the United Kingdom, the United Arab Emirates, Japan, Canada, Qatar, Hong Kong and Germany.

The combined remittances from these countries accounted for 77.3 percent of total cash remittances for January to February 2019. ING Bank Manila economist Nicholas Mapa said that at this rate, remittances continue to flow into the country “at a healthy pace.”

“Last year saw overseas Filipino remittances hit $28.94 billion, assuring a fresh inflow of more or less $2.4 billion every month, like clockwork.”

The steady stream of Dollars help fund Peso purchasing power, almost assuring that household consumption continues, while also augmenting the sustained struggles of the export sector,” Mapa said in his assessment following the BSP’s announcement of remittance numbers.


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