Remittance decline likely ‘less than’ expected in 2020: BSP

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 16 2020 10:44 AM

US Dollar bills. ABS-CBN News/File

MANILA - Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Gov. Benjamin Diokno said Friday remittances could shrink by less than the initial forecast of 5 percent due to improving figures. 

Total cash remittances for the January to August period reached $19.285 billion, dropping 2.6 percent or lower than $19.808 billion in the same comparable period in 2019, the BSP said. 

The 2.6 percent contraction is "good news," Diokno told reporters.

"That’s lower than BSP’s revised forecast of negative 5 percent. Other analysts predict that OF remittances would contract by as much as 20 percent," Diokno said.

"With four months to go before the end of the year, there is a strong likelihood that the 2020 OF remittances would shrink by less than 5 percent," he added.

Diokno earlier said remittances this year could drop by 5 percent due to the coronavirus pandemic. Thousands of overseas Filipinos, including crew from cruise ships have lost their jobs due to the pandemic. 

The Asian Development Bank, in a study, earlier predicted a drop of 20.2 percent this year compared to 2018 due to pandemic disruptions.

The BSP earlier said the "worst is over" for the Philippine economy. Gross domestic product (GDP) dived 16.5 percent in the second quarter but it is likely to recover starting in the fourth quarter, Diokno earlier said.

Interest rates were also kept unchanged during the last Monetary Board meeting, citing ample liquidity and benign inflation.