Philippines: Remittances fall in September
November 15, 2017
In September, cash remittances from Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) reached USD 2.2 billion, an 8.3% decrease from the same month of the previous year. The reading contrasted August’s 7.8% growth and marked the sharpest year-on-year drop in several years. The Central Bank of the Philippines cited a reduction in money service business by banks as a possible cause for the decline.
The overall trend also weakened as cash remittances in the 12 months up to September totaled USD 27.7 billion, slightly down from August’s USD 27.9 billion. September’s 12-month total was 4.2% higher than the same period of the previous year, but down from August’s 5.6% increase. Remittances, which accounted for approximately 9.8% of GDP in 2016, are an important source of income for many Filipino families and thus one of the main drivers of private consumption. The contraction registered in September was mainly due to falling remittances from the Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Australia. The decline in remittances from Saudi Arabia was particularly sharp, and was likely the result of the continued repatriation of OFW under the Saudi Arabian Amnesty Program, started in March and extended at end-September.