Philippines: Remittances slow down in January
March 15, 2013
In January, remittances from Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) increased 8.0% over the same month last year to USD 1.7 billion, which was below the 9.7% expansion observed in December. As a result of the lower annual reading, the trend points downwards, with remittances adding USD 21.5 billion in the last 12 months, a 6.1% expansion over the same period last year (December: +6.3% year-on-year).
According to the Central Bank, "remittances were sustained on account of the steady demand for skilled and professional Filipino workers abroad as well as the continued expansion of remittance service providers' global market coverage". Remittances account for approximately 9% of GDP and are an important source of income for many Filipino families. Given its significance to the economy, OFW funds sent from abroad are one of the key drivers of private consumption in the country.
FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panellists expect private consumption to grow 5.5% in 2013, which is unchanged from the previous month's projection. For 2014, the panel expects private consumption to expand 5.4%.