Money sent home by Filipinos working overseas increased 4.5 percent in February to $2.267 billion from $2.169 billion a year ago, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Governor Nestor Espenilla Jr. said Monday.
The figure brought cash remittances in the first two months to $4.6 billion, up 7.1 percent from $4.3 billion recorded in the same period last year.
“This was supported by the cash remittances both from land-based [$3.7 billion] and sea-based [$1 billion] workers which increased by 6.4 percent and 9.8 percent, respectively,” Espenilla said in a statement.
The United States, United Arab Emirates, Germany and Malaysia were the major contributors to the growth in remittances in February.
Remittances from the US and UAE each contributed 1.2 percentage points to the 4.5-percent overall growth.
Personal remittances, which include non-cash items, also grew 5.4 percent in February to $2.528 billion from $2.397 billion a earlier. This brought the first two months’ personal remittances to $5.182 billion, up by 8.1 percent from $4.794 billion in the same period in 2017.
Remittance growth in February decelerated from the 9.7-percent expansion in January, which was the fastest in 10 months.
Remittances together with business process outsourcing receipts account for around $50 billion in annual inflows, supporting the country’s external payments position.
Money sent home by overseas Filipinos reached a record $28.06 billion in 2017, up 4.3 percent from $26.90 billion in 2016 and exceeded the Bangko Sentral’s conservative 4-percent growth target for the year.
The higher cash remittances in 2017 were supported by the increase in transfers from both land-based and sea-based workers by 4 percent and 5.4 percent, respectively.
Personal remittances also jumped to a record $31.288 billion in 2017, up 5.3 percent from $29.706 billion in 2016.
Hongkong and Shanhai Banking Corp. predicted that remittances would grow 5 percent in 2018.