Remittances gained momentum in November, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) reported on Friday, with year-on-year growth accelerating from an October slowdown.
Personal remittances—representing overseas Filipinos’ earnings, personal transfers in cash or in kind and capital transfers between households—grew by 3 percent to $2.42 billion from a year earlier.
Cash remittances—money sent through banks—also increased by 3.2 percent in November to $2.19 billion.
Year to date, personal remittances were up 3.4 percent to $25.25 billion, the central bank reported. The growth, however, was slower than the 3.5 percent recorded in October.
Funds coursed through banks for the January to November period also saw growth slowing to 3.6 percent, from 3.7 percent, to $22.83 billion.
“A stable Philippine peso and some degree of stabilization in regional currencies supported remittances inflows,” said Rahul Bajoria, economist at United Kingdom-based investment bank Barclays.
Bajoria said Barclays was of the view that uncertainty over excessive currency weakness in key regions—such as countries in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and the Middle East—has subsided.
Growth in remittances from the two regions has been significant, he noted, even as inflows from US and Europe continue to underperform.
“The continued deployment of skilled overseas Filipinos remained a key driver of the growth in remittances inflows,” the central bank said.
Also providing support, it added, was the presence of banks and non-bank service providers in foreign countries through tie-ups and remittance centers, as well as the introduction of innovations in remittance products.
The central bank cited preliminary data from the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration showing that 771,635 job orders had been approved during the 11-month period.
Of these, 44 percent were intended for service, production, and professional, technical and related positions in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Taiwan, and Hong Kong.
Cash remittances from land-based and sea-based Filipinos hit $17.6 billion and $5.2 billion, respectively, during the 11-month period.
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.
Bajoria said Barclays expected remittances to have stayed strong in December, with workers remitting money to their families ahead of the festive season.
The investment bank maintained its forecast of 4 percent remittances growth in 2015, with the figure climbing to 5 percent in 2016.
The central bank also projected a 4 percent expansion in 2015 cash remittances to $25.3 billion from the $24.3 billion recorded in 2014.