Metrobank sees 7% hike in remittances
Kathleen Martin (The Philippine Star) - February 22, 2015 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Remittances are estimated to increase as much as seven percent this year over year-ago levels, the research arm of Metropolitan Bank and Trust Co. said.

“Expect remittances to continue supporting the economy despite global headwinds. The improving US economic performance will provide support for stable inflows despite weakness in other advanced economies,” Mabellene Reynaldo, research analyst at Metrobank, said in a report.

Metrobank has forecast funds sent home by Filipinos abroad to rise six to seven percent over the $24.308 billion recorded last year.

“Expect consumption to remain steady given sustained remittance flows and manageable inflation,” Reynaldo said.

Remittances provide a boost to domestic consumption, the largest driver of the Philippine economy. Last year, remittances accounted for 8.5 percent of the country’s gross domestic product.

The robust inflow of remittances last year was owed to the strong demand for Filipinos abroad as 1.6 million individuals were deployed during the period.

Job orders also climbed 10.7 percent to 878,609 last year, more than 40 percent of which were for service, production, and professional, technical and related work in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Taiwan and Qatar.

Bulk of the cash remittances in 2014 were sent from the United States, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, Singapore, Japan, Hong Kong, and Canada, data from the central bank showed.

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas also noted the continuous expansion of local banks’ services abroad supported remittances growth.

Data showed there were 4,765 tie-ups, remittance centers, correspondent banks, and branches/representative offices of commercial banks as of end-2014.

BANGKO SENTRAL HONG KONG MABELLENE REYNALDO METROBANK METROPOLITAN BANK AND TRUST CO REMITTANCES SAUDI ARABIA TAIWAN AND QATAR UNITED ARAB EMIRATES UNITED KINGDOM UNITED STATES
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