Philippines: Despite slight deceleration in February, yearly remittances reach historical high
April 15, 2014
In February, remittances from Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) increased a solid 6.7% over the same month last year, reaching USD 1.8 billion. The print was slightly down from January's 7.0% expansion. Nevertheless, the overall upward trend is in place as remittances totaled USD 23.0 billion in the 12 months up to February (January: USD 22.9 billion), reaching the largest volume on record. The increase represented a 6.4% expansion over the same period last year (January: +6.3% year-on-year).
Remittances, which account for approximately 9.0% of GDP, are an important source of income for many Filipino families and thus a key driver of private consumption. According to the Central Bank, February's reading was driven by a steady rise in cash transfers. The Central Bank said that, “personal remittances continued to draw strength from the steady rise in transfers from land-based workers with long-term contracts (4.3 percent), and sea-based and land-based workers with short-term contracts (10.3 percent).”
FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panelists expect private consumption to grow 5.6% in 2014, which is unchanged from last month's projection. For 2015, the panel expects private consumption to expand 5.7%.
Author: Armando Ciccarelli, Head of Data Solutions