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Remittances up 2.6% to $3.23B in September

Overseas Filipino worker (OFW) remittances rose by 2.6 percent to $3.23 billion in September from $3.15 billion a year earlier, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas reported on Wednesday.

Money sent home via banks alone totaled $2.91 billion, 2.6 percent higher compared to the $2.84 billion recorded in September last year.

The rise in personal remittances was attributed to land-based OFWs with contracts of a year or more, and sea- and land-based workers with contracts of less than one year.

Year to date, overall remittances totaled $27.24 billion, 2.8 percent higher than the year-earlier $26.49 billion, while cash remittances also grew by 2.8 percent to $24.49 billion from $23.82 billion.

September's 2.6-percent growth in personal remittances eased from August's 2.8 percent and was also much lower than the year-earlier 4.0 percent.

The year-to-date expansion of 2.8 percent was also slightly lower than the 2.9 percent seen a month earlier and the 3.1 percent posted in the comparable 2022 period.

The September cash remittance growth of 2.6 percent was likewise a downtick from August's 2.7 percent and was significantly lower than the 3.8 percent posted last year.

Year-to-date growth, meanwhile, stayed at 2.8 percent compared to a month earlier but slipped from 3.8 percent in January-September 2022.

The cumulative growth in cash remittances for the year was traced to flows from the United States, Saudi Arabia and Singapore.

The US accounted for the biggest share (41.5 percent) of remittances for the nine-month period, followed by Singapore (6.9 percent), Saudi Arabia (6.0 percent) and Japan (5.0 percent).

Other countries that contributed to overall remittances were the United Kingdom (4.8 percent), the United Arab Emirates (4.1 percent), Canada (3.6 percent), Qatar (2.8 percent), Taiwan (2.7 percent) and Korea (2.5 percent).

Sought for comment, China Banking Corp. chief economist Domini Velasquez said higher domestic prices may have prompted OFWs to send more money home.

"Remittances may have also experienced a boost from the strong economic growth seen in the US, our main source of remittances," she added.

Remittances could see a further lift from easing inflation in host countries, Velasquez continued, but added that a "cooling labor market and the tensions in the Middle East will be downside risks to the upcoming remittances figures."

Source: Manila Times

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