Jan.-Feb. remittances totaled $3.1B

Published by rudy Date posted on April 16, 2012

Money sent home by up to 10 million overseas Filipinos exceeded expectations in February by growing 5.8 percent to $1.6 billion instead of 5.2 percent as forecast by experts at Barclays in Hong Kong, for instance.

As a result, the two-month remittance flows for January and February totaled $3.1 billion, up 5.6 percent from year-ago level, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) said on Monday.

The latest numbers validated the view that while remittances this year might be lower than in 2011, they would continue to expand to support domestic consumption, a key economic driver.

The continued inflow of remittances is supported by the sustained demand for Filipino manpower in various foreign labor markets, the BSP said.

The bulk of the remittances originated from countries as the United States, Canada, Saudi Arabia, Japan, the United Kingdom, Singapore, the United Arab Emirates, Italy, Germany and Hong Kong.

According to BSP Governor Amando M. Tetangco Jr., the countries cited accounted for 86.3 percent of the total fund transfers reported by banks.

About three-fourths, equal to 76.1 percent or $1.2 billion of the total cash transfers for the month, were sent by land-based workers while nearly one-fourth, equal to 23.9 percent or $0.4 billion were from sea-based workers, Tetangco added.

Actual remittance growth last year exceeded forecasts, having actually grown by 7.2 percent to $20.1 billion instead of just 7 percent as anticipated.

The forecast remittance growth was traced to robust earnings sent back to recipient families in the Philippines by land- and sea-based workers whose skills were superior to colleagues from other countries.

The cash transfers equaled more or less 10 percent of local output or gross domestic product (GDP), helping stimulate domestic demand.

“Moreover, local banks and other financial institutions continued to expand their presence abroad to serve the remittance needs of Filipino workers. The improved accessibility of remittance centers and the wider array of financial products on offer, supported the increase in remittances and encouraged more overseas Filipinos to send money to their families and other beneficiaries in the Philippines,” Tetangco said.

Job orders for Filipino professional and technical, service and production workers also increased by 24.6 percent to 200,010 during the January to March period compared to last year, he said.

That local banks and other financial institutions continued to expand their presence abroad to serve the remittance needs of Filipino workers helped boost the flow of the foreign currency earnings of overseas Filipinos, according to Tetangco. –Jun Vallecera / Reporter, Businessmirror

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