Philippines: Remittances stabilize at seven-month low in May
July 15, 2014
In May, remittances from Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) increased 6.1% over the same month last year, reaching USD 2.0 billion. The print was on par with April’s expansion, which had marked the lowest pace of growth in seven months. The overall trend improved slightly as remittances totaled USD 23.3 billion in the 12 months up to May, marking a marginal increase over April’s USD 23.2 billion and representing the largest volume on record. The increase represented a 6.8% expansion over the same period last year, corresponding with April’s reading.
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, “[t]he sustained expansion in personal remittances during the first five months of 2014 was underpinned by the steady growth in remittance flows from both land-based workers with long-term contracts (higher by 5.0 percent) and sea-based and land-based workers with short-term contracts (up by 8.1 percent).”