Philippines: Remittances surge to all-time high in December
February 17, 2014
In December, remittances from Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) increased 9.1% over the same month of the previous year, reaching a record high of USD 2.2 billion. The print was above the 7.5% expansion observed in November. The upward trend remains in place as remittances totaled USD 22.8 billion in the 12 months up to December (November: USD 22.6 billion). The increase represented a 6.4% expansion over the same period of the previous year (November: +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. December's increase in remittances was driven by the ongoing response to the devastating typhoon that struck the country in early November as well as by the holiday season. In addition, the current weakening of the peso continues to play a role in the healthy growth in remittances that has been observed in recent months.
FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panelists expect private consumption to grow 5.4% in 2014, which is unchanged from the previous month's projection. For 2015, the panel also expects private consumption to expand 5.4%.
Author: Carl Kelly, Economist