Given “the healthy growth in OFW remittances in May, it looks like the year-on-year spike in March and the drop in April this year are likely just a case of timing,” Metropolitan Bank and Trust Company research head Marc Bautista said.
“This means that funds may have just been remitted in advance and, thus, got booked in March rather than in April, as we have opined earlier, increasing the March flow and decreasing the April remittance,” he explained.
Bautista said the May data should finally reverse any impression that the April figure was the start of a series of declines.
“We expect OFW remittances to remain strong for the rest of the year on the back of the continued rebound in global economic activity,” he added.
2017 forecast: 5% growth in remittances
Noting the gradual improvement in the world economy, IHS Markit-Asia Pacific chief economist Rajiv Biswas said personal remittances for this year are likely to grow at a moderate pace of 5 percent year-on-year.
“Personal remittances by Filipino workers abroad rose by 7.1 percent year-on-year in May, rebounding strongly after a year-on-year contraction in April. The May figures mean that total personal remittances for the first five months of 2017 are up 5.2 percent compared with the same period a year ago. This is similar to the pace of growth of personal remittances in [full-year] 2016, at a rate of 4.9 percent,” he said.
“While personal remittances from North America, Europe and East Asia are likely to show some expansion, remittance inflows from the Middle East could be [affected]by the ongoing economic impact of lower oil prices on the Middle East oil exporting economies,” he added.