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Freeman Cebu Business

OFW remittances surge by 6.9% in October 2014

C&C VIEWS - Ed Limtingco - The Freeman

According to the Institute for Development and Econometric Analysis, Inc. latest NewsBriefs, in October 2014, personal remittances from Overseas Filipinos notched a 6.9percent annualized growth, amounting to $2.5 billion. The growth in remittances continue to be driven by the increased transfers from both land-based and sea-based workers.

From January to October 2014, personal remittances have climbed to $22 billion, already 6.7percent higher from the same period in 2013.

Likewise, cash remittances from OFs have expanded by 7percent in October 2014, hitting $2.2 billion. For the first ten months of the year, cash remittances reached $19.9 billion, 6.2percent higher from a year earlier. Cash remittances are coursed through more formal means such as banks.

Year-to-date, the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration reported that job orders for skilled Filipino workers stood at 768,741, suggesting a robust flow of future remittances. The United States, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Japan, Hong Kong and Canada continue to be top sources of cash remittances.

Likewise per same published report, for the third quarter of 2014, the Philippine balance of payments position stood at a surplus of $712 million, significantly less than the $1.2 billion surplus a year earlier. Uncertainty in the global markets, however, drove the country’s BOP position from January to September 2014 to post a $3.4 billion deficit, a dramatic swing from the $3.8 billion position of surplus in the same period in 2013.

Moreover by the end of September 2014, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas revealed that the Philippine external debt registered at $57.7 billion, 0.6percent less than the $58.1 billion in the second quarter of 2014. Furthermore, the BSP assures that the country’s external debt ratio as a percentage of Gross National Income has improved to 17.2percent from 17.6percent in the same period.

Furthermore, per IDEA, due to pending regulatory approvals, the merger between the Philippine Stock Exchange and the Philippine Dealing System Holdings Corp. is deferred to be completed within next year. The approvals of the Securities and Exchange Commission and the BSP have yet to be given. The merger aims to provide the country ‘a cross-border trading platform that will link Southeast Asian stock markets.’

Likewise, the Philippines will enjoy a wider trade access to the EU as its application to the Generalized Scheme of Preferences Plus  program gets approved. This is expected to churn out 200,000 new jobs as tariffs on more than 6,000 products are slashed to zero.

On the other hand, exports of electronic products could have had a greater year, higher than the 7-11percent growth, if not for port congestion. Moreover, growth is seen to slow down in 2015 to 5-7percent. The power shortage also poses a threat, as a day of blackout can cost the sector as much as $1 million according to the researchers of IDEA.

elimtingco@yahoo.com

BANGKO SENTRAL BILLION DEVELOPMENT AND ECONOMETRIC ANALYSIS FROM JANUARY GENERALIZED SCHEME OF PREFERENCES PLUS GROSS NATIONAL INCOME HONG KONG AND CANADA OVERSEAS FILIPINOS PHILIPPINE OVERSEAS EMPLOYMENT ADMINISTRATION PHILIPPINE STOCK EXCHANGE AND THE PHILIPPINE DEALING SYSTEM HOLDINGS CORP REMITTANCES
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