Remittance growth slows to 0.2% – BSP

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Remittances from overseas Filipinos lost pace in October, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) reported in Tuesday, with year-on-year growth decelerating from a September rebound.

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Personal remittances—representing overseas Filipinos’ earnings, personal transfers in cash or in kind and capital transfers between households—grew by 0.2 percent to $2.47 billion from a year earlier.

September saw growth of 4.3 percent after a 0.8-percent contraction in August – the first decline since the central bank began releasing remittance data.

Cash remittances—money sent through banks—also slowed down to 0.2 percent in October to $2.23 billion, easing from a 4.3 percent growth a month earlier.

A 0.6-percent decline was also recorded for cash remittances in August.

Year to date, growth in personal remittances eased to 3.5 percent in October from 3.9 percent a month earlier. The 10-month tally rose to $22.83 billion.

Funds coursed through banks for the January to October period also saw growth slowing to 3.7 percent to $20.64 billion from 4.1 percent.

Cash remittances from land-based and sea-based Filipinos hit $15.8 billion and $4.8 billion, respectively.

The United States, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Singapore, the United Kingdom, Japan, Canada and Hong Kong were the major sources of cash remittances for the period.

The central bank said remittance inflows were supported by continued efforts of banks and non-bank service providers to expand their international and domestic market coverage through tie-ups abroad as well as the introduction of innovations in remittance products.

It also cited preliminary data from the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration showing that 717,182 job orders had been approved in the 10-months period.

Of these, 44.1 percent were intended for service, production, and professional, technical and related positions in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Taiwan, and Hong Kong.

In 2014, personal remittances hit an all-time high of $24.96 billion, while cash remittances reached $24.34 billion.

MAYVELIN U. CARABALLO

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