Philippines: Remittances growth picks up from six-year low in February
April 15, 2015
In February, cash remittances from Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) increased 4.2% over the same month last year, reaching USD 1.9 billion. The print came in above January’s weak 0.5% expansion, which had marked the slowest pace of growth since January 2009. The overall trend stabilized as remittances totaled USD 24.4 billion in the 12 months up to February, matching January’s print that had marked a record high. The increase represented a 5.4% expansion over the same period of the previous year, which was slightly below January’s 5.5% rise.
Remittances, which accounted for approximately 8.5% of GDP in 2014, are an important source of income for many Filipino families and thus a key driver of private consumption. According to the Central Bank, land-based workers accounted for the largest share of remittances, while a smaller proportion of remittances came from sea-based workers. Remittances mainly came from the United States, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.