OFW remittances up 6.5 pct in March

By ABS-CBNnews.com

March 15, 2014

MANILA, Philippines – Money sent home by overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) hit $2.09 billion in March.

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas reported that total personal remittances, which support domestic consumption, went up 6.9 percent in March. This brought the first quarter total $6.085 billion, 6.9 percent higher than a year ago.

“The steady increase in personal remittances during the first three months of the year was driven by strong growth in remittance flows from both land-based workers with long-term contracts [which increased by 4.5 percent] and sea-based and land-based workers with short-term contracts [which jumped 10.9 percent],” the BSP said.

BSP data showed cash remittances went up 6.5 percent to $1.883 billion in March. This pushed the first quarter figure to $5.478 billion, 6 percent higher than a year ago.

The major sources of cash remittances in March were the United States, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, Singapore, Japan, and Hong Kong.

The central bank expects remittances this year to grow 5 percent from a record $22.97 billion last year.

The government is targeting 6.5 to 7.5 percent GDP growth in 2014 after a 7.2 percent expansion last year, the fastest in Southeast Asia.

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