Philippine remittances for November 2017 grow by only 2%

MANILA, Philippines – Money sent home by overseas Filipinos (OFs) last November grew by only 2% year-on-year to $2.3 billion, partly because of base effects, after remittances in the same month in 2016 saw an "unusually high" growth in over 8 years.

Back in November 2016, cash remittances spiked by 18.5% to $2.22 billion. Due to this, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) reported slower growth in cash remittances.

HSBC economists had said in a report that they were expecting a "slowdown" in growth in remittances in November 2017, as "remittances were unusually high in November 2016."

The level of November 2017 cash remittances, however, is still higher than what was recorded in November 2016.

BSP Governor Nestor Espenilla Jr said the top countries that contributed to the growth in cash remittances during November 2017 were the United States with a 1.1-percentage-point contribution, and Germany with 0.9-percentage-point contribution.

Cash remittances from both land-based and sea-based workers recorded increases of 3.7% and 5.1% for January to November 2017, respectively.

The bulk of cash remittances for the 1st 11 months of last year came from the US, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Japan, United Kingdom, Qatar, Kuwait, Germany, and Hong Kong. 

Combined remittances from these countries accounted for 80.2% of total cash remittances.

Meanwhile, personal remittances reached $2.5 billion in November 2017, 3.2% higher than the level posted in the same month in 2016.

This brought the cumulative remittances for the 1st 11 months of 2017 to $28.2 billion, representing a year-on-year growth of 5.1%, Espenilla said.

"The growth in personal remittances for January to November 2017 was supported by the sustained expansion of remittances from land-based OFs with work contracts of one year or more (3.7%) as well as those from sea-based and land-based OFs with work contracts of less than one year (5.1%)," the central bank governor added. –