Philippines: Remittances accelerate in April
June 15, 2011
In April, remittances from Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) rose 6.3% over the same month last year to total USD 1.62 billion. The expansion represented an improvement compared to the 4.1% growth observed in March, which had represented the slowest increase since August 2009. According to the Central Bank, some 75% of remittances were sent from the United States, Europe and the Middle East. In the three months to April, remittances amounted to USD 4.7 billion, which was 5.5% higher compared to the same period last year, when remittances totalled USD 4.5 billion. Remittances account for approximately 9% of GDP and are an important source of income for many Filipino families. Given its weight in the economy, the OFW funds sent over from abroad are a key driver of private consumption. Moreover, the steady flow of remittances supports the local currency.