OFWs’ cash remittances slow down in October ’16

Remittances from Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) posted a slower growth in October 2016 after inflows from sea-based workers fell due to stiffer competition among seafarers.

Preliminary data released by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Thursday showed that cash remittances in the 10th month this year reached USD2.1 billion, three percent lower than year-ago's USD2.2 billion.

BSP Governor Amando M. Tetangco Jr., in a statement, said inflows from sea-based workers last October fell 11.1 percent while remittances from land-based workers dropped 0.6 percent.

"Stiffer competition in the supply of seafarers, particularly from East Asia and Eastern Europe, has contributed to the declining trend in sea-based remittances," he said.

Lower cash remittances were traced primarily from Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Italy, Malaysia, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom.

Tetangco said depreciation of major host countries' currencies against the US dollar partly contributed to drop in the value of cash remittances last October.

He said inflows from UK fell 5.9 percent "even as the volume of remittances in original currency (pound sterling) increased by 16.5 percent."

"The case of Italy, Germany, Greece, and the Netherlands, however, is different, as remittances in both US dollar equivalent and original currency recorded declined in October," he said.

In the first 10 months this year, total cash remittances reached USD22.12 billion, up four percent than year-ago's USD21.27 billion.

Bulk, or 80 percent, of these inflows came from the US, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Singapore, UK, Japan, Qatar Kuwait, Hong Kong, and Germany.

Actual growth of cash remittances last October was below the 10.8 percent expansion forecast of ING Bank economist for Asia Tim Condon.

He projects full year remittance growth at six percent, higher than the four percent print in 2015.

Source: Philippines News Agency