July remittances grow at slowest pace in 6 mos.

A man arranges his peso bills inside a currency exchange shop Friday, Nov. 9, 2007, in Manila, Philippines. The dollar closed Friday at 42.795 pesos, where the peso rose to a new seven-year high on prospects of further U.S. interest rate cuts and likely increases in remittances from Filipinos overseas.  (AP Photo/Pat Roque)

A man arranges his peso bills inside a currency exchange shop Friday, Nov. 9, 2007, in Manila, Philippines. The dollar closed Friday at 42.795 pesos, where the peso rose to a new seven-year high on prospects of further U.S. interest rate cuts and likely increases in remittances from Filipinos overseas. (AP Photo/Pat Roque)

MANILA (Mabuhay) — Money sent by Filipinos who live and work abroad continued to rise in July, though at the slowest pace in six months.

Personal remittances from overseas Filipinos amounted to $2.3 billion, up 0.5 percent from $2.29 billion a year earlier, latest data released by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) showed.

“The growth was lower than the previous year’s 7.3 percent growth. This is partly due to the depreciation of currencies in their host countries against the US dollar, which reduced the dollar equivalent of their remittances,” the central bank said.

The increase represents the second slowest inflow this year, after the 0.2 percent recorded in January. Personal remittances have expanded by 4.0 percent in February, 11.0 percent in March, 4.9 percent in April, 5.5 percent in May and 5.8 percent in June.

In the seven months to July, personal remittances totaled $15.7 billion – up 4.6 percent from $14.99 billion in the same period last year.

Cash remittances coursed through banks also rose by 0.5 percent year-on-year to $2.1 billion from $2.06 billion in July. This brought the total to $14.2 billion in January to July or 4.8 percent from $13.5 billion a year earlier.

Cash remittances from land-based workers totaled $10.8 billion and $3.3 billion from sea-based workers, mostly sent from the US, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, UK, Singapore, Japan, Hong Kong and Canada.

“The continued demand for overseas Filipino workers remained the key driver of sustained remittance inflows,” the BSP said.

Citing reports from the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration, the central bank noted that 526,345 job orders have been received from abroad, of which 38.7 percent were already processed.

“Efforts of bank and non-bank remittance service providers to expand their international and domestic market coverage through their network of remittance business partners worldwide provided support to the steady remittance flows,” the BSP noted.(MNS)

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