December 2018 saw a surge in the cash remittance from overseas Filipino workers (OFW). As such, the country hit a full-year growth outpacing Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas’ (BSP) growth forecast, though 2018 had the slowest annual increase recorded.
According to BSP’s data, cash remittances reached $2.849 billion in December 2018. It was an increase of 3.9 percent from $2.741 billion inflows in December 2017. Overall, the full-year inflow increased by 3.1 percent or $28.943 billion from the previous years’ $28.060 billion.
The said increase in December 2018 was the fastest growth in remittance recorded since October’s 8.7 percent.
BSP said in a press release that last year’s cash remittances to the country remained strong despite political uncertainties facing the globe.
The 2.8 percent increase in the amount sent by land-based OFWs and a 4.6 percent increase in remittances that came from the sea-based OFWs pushed the remittance growth.
However, the continued repatriation of the Saudi government has partially caused a 15.3 percent decrease in the remittances from OFWs working in the Middle East. It was the opposite of what took place last year when remittances from the Middle East went up by 3.4 percent.
But, nevertheless, cash inflows from other countries in Asia, the Americas, and Europe grew year-on-year and compensated for the decline in the funds transferred from Middle East. The year-on-year growth is at 12.3 percent for other countries in Asia, 9.7 percent for the Americas, and 7.7 percent for Europe.
Total cash inflows in the entire year came from the United States, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Singapore, Japan, the United Kingdom, Qatar, Canada, Germany, and Hong Kong.
In time for the holiday season
Remittances are expected to peak towards the holiday season celebrated every December. This is because OFWs are sending more money home to support the holiday festivities, gift-giving, and merry-making.
The higher inflation rate may have also prompted the OFWs abroad to send more money to support the needs of their families here in the country.