MANILA, Philippines – The inflow of remittances slightly slowed in November, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas reported yesterday, although demand for skilled Filipinos abroad remained strong.
Remittances – cash and non-cash – went up 1.8 percent to $2.346 billion in November from $2.305 billion in the same period in 2013. This is the slowest pace recorded after April 2009’s 1.3-percent increase.
However, this brought the January to November figure to $24.366 billion, higher by 6.2 percent than the $22.945 billion in the same period in 2013.
“The continued deployment of skilled manpower remained a key driver of the sustained growth of remittance flows,” the BSP said.
Citing data from the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration, the central bank said job orders reached 855,357 as of November last year, more than a third of which were for service, production, and professional, technical and related work in Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Taiwan and Qatar.
Cash remittances alone climbed two percent to $2.122 billion in November from $2.08 billion in the same period in 2013. BSP data showed this is the slowest growth rate recorded following January 2009’s 0.1 percent pace.
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In the 11 months to November, money sent home by Filipinos abroad rose 5.7 percent to $21.991 billion from $20.796 billion in the same period in 2013.
Remittances from land-based workers amounted to $16.9 billion as of November, while those sent by sea-based workers reached $5.1 billion.
Bulk of these funds were sent from the United States, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, Singapore, Japan, Hong Kong, and Canada.
Remittances support domestic consumption, the largest driver of the Philippine economy. Cash remittances last year summed up to $22.968 billion and made up more than eight percent of the country’s gross domestic product.
The BSP has forecast remittances to grow 5.5 percent in 2014 over 2013 levels.