OFWs remit $2B in September


Personal remittances from overseas Filipinos workers (OFWs) continued to grow at a solid pace in September, rising by 6.8 percent year-on-year to reach $2.1 billion.

This is the sixth consecutive month in 2013 that personal remittances exceeded $2 billion, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Governor Amando Tetangco Jr. announced on Friday.

As a result, cumulative personal remittances from OFWs for the nine-month period increased to $18.2 billion, 6.6-percent higher than the level posted during the same period in 2012.

Tetangco said that remittances from land-based workers with work contracts of one year or more accounted for more than three-fourths (75.4 percent) of the total OFW transfers for the period January to September 2013, and grew by 5.4 percent. Meanwhile, those from sea-based workers and land-based workers with short-term contracts rose by 7.5 percent.

He also noted that cash remittances from OFWs coursed through banks also increased by 5.3 percent to reach $1.9 billion in September. For the period January to September, cash remittances totaled $16.5 billion, a 5.8-percent rise from the year-ago level.

Also, the central bank said that cash transfers from both land-based ($12.6 billion) and sea-based workers ($3.9 billion) grew by 5.3 percent and 7.5 percent, respectively. The major sources of cash remittances were the United States, Saudi Arabia, the United Kingdom, the United Arab Emirates, Singapore, Canada and Japan.

Inflation eases

The BSP reported also on Friday that inflation remained benign, decreasing to 2.4 percent in the third quarter of this year, from the 2.7 percent recorded in the second quarter. This brings the year-to-date average inflation rate to 2.8 percent, slightly below the government’s inflation target range of 4 percent plus or minus 1 percentage point, for 2013.

Tetangco attributed the slightly lower inflation rate in the third quarter to slower nonfood inflation, owing to lower electricity rates. Inflation for most food items also declined, reflecting adequate domestic supply of corn, meat, fish, milk, fruits, vegetables and sugar.

Similarly, the official measure of core inflation, along with the alternative measures of core inflation measured by the BSP, was lower in third-quarter 2013 than in the previous quarter, indicating a relative absence of broad-based inflationary pressures. The official core inflation eased to 2.2 percent.

The number of consumer price index (CPI) components showing inflation rates above the 5-percent threshold also decreased, accounting for a smaller proportion of the CPI basket.


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