Philippines: Remittances drop for the first time in four months in December
Remittances totaled USD 2.9 billion in December, representing a 0.4% year-on-year decline and contrasting November’s 0.3% year-on-year expansion. On a cumulative basis up to December, remittances summed USD 29.9 billion, remaining stable from November. All-in-all, remittances in 2020 were down 0.8%, marking the first decline since 2001. That said, 2020’s reading was still above the Central Bank’s forecast of a 2.0% slide.
Remittances, which accounted for roughly 9% of GDP in 2020, are an important source of income for many Filipino families and a key driver of private consumption.
Prakash Sakpal, senior economist Asia, at ING noted:
“Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) is expecting remittance flows to grow by 4% but with more than 430,000 former Overseas Filipinos (OFs) repatriated after job losses in their host countries, we forecast remittances to be flat in 2021.”