Philippines: Cash remittances record largest fall on record in April
Cash remittances from Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) fell 16.2% in April, marking the worst reading on record amid a halted global economy and mass return of workers home due to the coronavirus pandemic (March: -4.7% yoy). Accordingly, remittances totaled USD 2.0 billion in the month. According to the Central Bank, the drop was largely due to a reduction in migrants overseas and temporary closures or reduced services of some money sending institutions.
On a cumulative basis, remittances in the 12 months up to April came in at USD 29.8 billion, below the USD 30.2 billion recorded in the 12 months up to March.
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 to fall notably in the second quarter.