Philippines: Cash remittance growth accelerates sharply in January
Cash remittances from Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) totaled USD 2.6 billion in January, which was down from December’s historic record of USD 2.9 billion. That said, remittances grew 6.6% year-on-year in January, accelerating from 1.9% in December. Although remittances are usually more subdued at the outset of the year, the outbreak of coronavirus in Asia likely spurred stronger cash transfers from abroad this January. The surge in remittance inflows was largely driven by greater transfers from the Unites States—which constitute over a third of all remittances—followed by Japan, Singapore and Saudi Arabia.
On a cumulative basis, cash transfers in the 12 months up to January rose to USD 30.3 billion from the USD 30.1 billion 12-month sum in December.
Remittances, which accounted for close to 9% of GDP in 2019, are an important source of income for many Filipino families. However, economic slowdowns hitting the U.S. and many Asian countries such as Japan could encumber remittances in the quarters ahead.