Tuesday, September 18, 2012

OFW inflows up 5.4% to $1.809 billion in July

MANILA, Philippines – Growth in remittances from overseas Filipinos remains on track to meeting this year’s target with the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) saying yesterday it will not revise its remittance projection once it commences with a review of official forecasts next month. “We will be reviewing the BOP (balance of payments) projections... but probably not in the case of remittances. I think we are on track to meeting the remittance (forecast),” BSP Governor Amando Tetangco Jr. said in a press conference after the mid-year economic briefing yesterday. Cash remittances from overseas Filipinos rose 5.4 percent to $1.809 billion in July, bringing the seven-month figure to $11.936 billion. The seven-month figure was 5.2 percent higher than last year’s figure. Most remittances came from the United States, Canada, Saudi Arabia and the United Kingdom. The broader personal remittances-which include personal money transfers-likewise increased 5.4 percent in July and 5.3 percent in the first seven months, data also showed. BSP has a five-percent growth forecast for remittances. “Notwithstanding the weak economic conditions particularly in the euro zone and the geopolitical tensions in some parts of the Middle East, remittances remained resilient on the back of sustained demand for skilled Filipino workers overseas,” the BSP said. Money sent home by Filipinos abroad form part of the country’s BOP, which measures the country’s capacity to settle its debts and meet external trade obligations. This also includes earnings from exports, foreign direct investments and foreign portfolio investments. “We have been reviewing the BOP projection particularly after the numbers we have for the January to July period. For the other numbers, we will still have to review,” Tetangco said. As of August, BOP already posted a surplus of $4.498 billion, way above BSP’s $2.6-billion projection for the year. A surplus means the country has more resources to settle its external obligations. BSP re-evaluates its forecasts during the second and fourth quarters of the year to take into account developments. For gross international reserves (GIR), the BSP chief said official outlook will be adjusted upwards. - By Prinz P. Magtulis