• Remittances lose momentum in Jan

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    Remittances from overseas Filipino workers continued to expand year-on-year in January but lost some momentum from a month ago, data from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) showed on Tuesday.

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    Personal remittances—representing overseas Filipinos’ earnings, personal transfers in cash or in kind, and capital transfers between households—grew by 3.2 percent to $2.24 billion from $2.17 billion a year earlier.

    However, personal remittances slowed down from $2.73 billion posted in December last year.

    Cash remittances—money sent through banks—also grew 3.4 percent in January to $2.02 billion from $1.96 billion in January 2015.

    Month-on-month, however, funds coursed through banks also posted a slight drop from $2.47 billion in December.

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

    Despite the month-to-month slowdown, “Remittance flows from overseas Filipinos remained resilient, underpinned by the sustained demand for skilled Filipino manpower overseas,” the central bank said.

    Also providing support, it added, were the continued efforts of banks and non-bank service providers to expand their international and domestic market coverage through their network of remittance business partners worldwide.

    The central bank cited preliminary data from the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration showing that 84,670 job orders had been approved in January.

    Of these, 30.5 percent were intended for service, production, and professional, technical and related positions in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Taiwan, and the United Arab Emirates.

    In 2015, remittances rose to a record high of $28.483 billion. This year, the central bank is projecting 4 percent growth in remittances.

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