January 2024 sees decline in cash remittances from overseas Filipinos

  • , by Balikbayan Store
  • 1 min reading time

Remittances from Filipinos working abroad saw a decline during the initial month of 2024, marking a decrease from the record-high noted in December 2023, as holiday-related expenditures tapered off with the start of the new year.

According to data released by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), cash remittances amounted to $2.836 billion in January 2024. This figure stands lower than the peak of $3.28 billion recorded in December 2023.

Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. chief economist Michael Ricafort explained in an emailed commentary that the dip in cash remittances was expected due to the seasonal trend. He noted that the surge in remittances typically observed during the Christmas and New Year holiday season in December, known as "the biggest spending by consumers or households in a typical year," led to a subsequent easing in January.

Comparing figures from January 2023, cash remittances exhibited a modest growth of 2.7%, rising from $2.762 billion.

The BSP attributed the year-on-year increase in cash remittances in January 2024 to higher receipts from both land- and sea-based workers.

Among the countries contributing to these remittances, the United States emerged as the primary source, accounting for 41.8% of the total. Singapore and Saudi Arabia followed, contributing 7.3% and 6% of remittances, respectively.

Despite the month-on-month decline, Ricafort emphasized the consistent significance of Philippine remittances from overseas workers, which have consistently ranked as the fourth-largest in the world after India, Mexico, and China, amounting to more than $40 billion annually. He underscored that these remittances have served as a pillar of resilience and a major growth driver for the Philippine economy over the years.

In terms of personal remittances, which encompass both cash and in-kind transfers through informal channels, January 2024 recorded a total of $3.15 billion. While this marked a 2.7% increase from January 2023, it remained lower than the $3.625 billion recorded in December 2023.

The BSP attributed the year-on-year rise in personal remittances to increased contributions from land-based workers with contracts of one year or more, as well as sea- and land-based workers with contracts of less than one year.

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