Philippines: Remittances accelerate in March, reach historical high
May 15, 2014
In March, remittances from Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) increased a strong 7.7% over the same month last year, reaching USD 1.9 billion. The print represented an acceleration compared to February’s 6.7% expansion and marked the highest pace of growth in three months. The overall upward trend continued as remittances totaled USD 23.1 billion in the 12 months up to March (February: USD 23.0 billion), reaching the largest volume on record. The increase represented a 6.8% expansion over the same period last year (February: +6.4% 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, March’s reading was driven by, “strong growth in remittance flows from both land-based workers with long-term contracts (4.5 percent) and sea-based and land-based workers with short-term contracts (10.9 percent).”