Philippines: Cash remittances hit record high in 2019
February 17, 2020
Cash remittances from Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) surged to a total of USD 2.9 billion in December from USD 2.4 billion in November. This represented a 1.9% year-on-year expansion, which was down from the 2.0% increase registered in November.
On the whole, cash transfers in 2019 reached an all-time high of USD 30.1 billion, which was up from the USD 28.9 sum registered in 2018. Solid remittances in 2019 were predominantly driven by strong inflows from the U.S.—which constitute over a third of all remittances—followed by Saudi Arabia, Singapore, and Japan.
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 neighboring Asian countries such as Singapore could encumber remittances in the quarters ahead.
Author: Lindsey Ice, Economist