Philippines: Cash remittances lose steam in February
Cash remittances from Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) grew 2.5% year-on-year in February, totaling USD 2.4 billion. February’s reading was below January’s USD 2.6 billion influx, which had marked a 6.6% annual increase. The highest share in remittance inflows came from the Unites States—which constitute over a third of all remittances—followed by Singapore, Japan and Saudi Arabia.
On a cumulative basis, cash transfers in the 12 months up to February came in at USD 30.4 billion, edging up from the USD 30.3 billion tallied in the 12 months up to January.
Remittances, which accounted for close to 9% of GDP in 2019, are an important source of income for many Filipino families. However, the economic fallout of Covid-19 which has seen economies entering recession and unemployment rising will likely cause remittances growth to stall in the second quarter.