OFW’s remittances up 5.5% to USD2.31 in May 2017
By Joann Santiago
MANILA (Philippines News Agency) — Remittances by Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) rose to USD2.31 billion in May 2017, 5.5 percent higher than the USD2.08 billion the previous month of April.
This brought the year-to-date cash remittances to USD11.35 billion, up 4.5 percent from year-ago’s USD10.86 billion, data released by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas showed.
In a statement, BSP Governor Nestor A. Espenilla Jr. said expansion of cash remittances last May was fueled by the 6.2 percent rise of inflows from land-based OFWs, amounting to USD1.8 billion, which was helped by the three percent rise of those from sea-based workers, USD500 million.
Bulk of the cash remittances came from the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Canada, Saudi Arabia, and the United States (US), he said.
Including in-kind transfers, total remittances last May reached USD2.59 billion, 7.1 percent higher from the US2.42 billion same period last year.
In the first five months of the year, total remittances amounted to USD12.61 billion, up 5.2 percent year-on-year.
Remittances have been among the major growth drivers of the Philippine economy for some decades now.
The World Bank (WB) recently said it continued to see robust performance for the Philippine economy this 2017, with growth projected at 6.8 percent, which in turn is within the government’s 6.5-7.5 percent growth target for the year.
It said remittances would continue to play a major role in the domestic expansion as it was expected to be the driver of strong consumption.
It forecasts a “stable” growth for consumption this year at 5.6 percent and 6.1 percent next year, from 7.2 percent last year.
“The prospect of maintaining consumption growth at current levels over the medium term is supported by robust remittance flows,” it said, citing the eight percent remittances growth in the first quarter of 2017, up from three percent same period in 2016.
The central bank’s remittances growth target this year is four percent.
In 2016, remittances grew by five percent, higher than the four percent target of the central bank. (PNA)