Philippines: Remittances slow in May
July 15, 2013
In May, remittances from Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) increased 5.3% over the same month last year to USD 1.9 billion. The print was below the 6.1% expansion observed in April. Nevertheless, the trend now points upwards, with remittances adding USD 21.9 billion in the 12 months up to May (April: USD 21.8 billion), which represents a 6.5% expansion over the same period last year (April: +6.4% year-on-year).
The Central Bank stated that remittance flows remain strong partially due to the sustained demand for Filipino skilled workers. Moreover, continued improvement of services by bank and non-bank remittances providers are expected to boost remittances going forward. 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%.