Money sent home by Filipinos working overseas climbed 7.5 percent in July to $2.6 billion from $2.4 billion a year ago.
This was the fastest growth of remittances in nine months, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas said Monday. This also brought cash remittances in the first seven months to $17.2 billion, up 3.9 percent from $16.6 billion in the same period last year.
“Cash remittances from land-based and sea-based workers increased by 2.5 percent to $13.4 billion and 8.9 percent to $3.8 billion, respectively,” BSP Governor Benjamin Diokno said in a statement.
The United States registered the highest share of overall remittances from January to July at 36.8 percent, followed by Saudi Arabia, Singapore, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, Japan, Canada, Hong Kong, Germany, and Kuwait.
The combined remittances from these countries accounted for 78.1 percent of total cash remittances in the first seven months.
Personal remittances, which include non-cash items, also increased by 7.2 percent in July to $2.9 billion from $2.7 billion in July 2018. This brought the seven-month personal remittances to $19.1 billion, up 3.6 percent from $18.5 billion a year earlier.
“The steady growth in personal remittances drew support from the remittance inflows from land-based workers with work contracts of one year or more, which aggregated to $14.6 billion from $14.2 billion in the same period last year,” Diokno said.
Cash remittances reached a record $28.9 billion in 2018, up 3.1 percent from $28.06 billion in 2017.
The bulk of cash remittances last year came from the US, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Singapore, Japan, the UK, Qatar, Canada, Germany, and Hong Kong.
Personal remittances also posted an all-time high of $32.2 billion in 2018, up 3 percent from $31.28 billion in 2018.
The BSP expects remittances to post a conservative 3-percent growth in 2019.