Pinoy remittances up 3%

MARKETS-ASIA/FOREX
Dollar remittances from overseas Filipinos grew by a mere 2.7 per cent in the first quarter of the year amid the global financial crisis, the government said Friday. The growth rate was down from 24 per cent in the same January-March period in 2008, the central bank said.

Remittances in the first quarter totalled 4.06 billion dollars, compared with 3.95 billion dollars in the same period in 2008, the central bank said.

In March alone, remittances rose 3.1 per cent from the same month last year to 1.47 billion dollars.

“Remittance flows continued to be shored up by the steady demand for Filipino skills abroad and the wider access to expanded money transfer services,” the central bank said in a statement.

Records from the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration showed that the total number of Filipinos who found jobs abroad rose 27.3 per cent in the first two months of the year.

“Philippine overseas labour offices have reported new job opportunities in markets that have not been severely affected by the global financial strains,” the central bank said.

“These developments provide continued optimism for stability in remittances,” it added.

In the first quarter, the major sources of dollar remittances were Filipinos from the United States, Canada, Saudi Arabia, Japan, Britain, Singapore, Italy, the United Arab Emirates and Germany.

In 2008, overseas Filipino remittances posted a 13.7-per-cent growth to 16.42 billion dollars.

The central bank expected annual remittances, which account for at least 10 per cent of the country’s gross domestic product, to remain flat this year.

Find more like this: Economy, OFW

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