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Remittance growth seen higher for Feb

Money sent home via banks by migrant Filipinos likely posted double-digit growth in February, banking giant HSBC said.

“We expect a sequential uptick of remittances in February following a decline in the previous month due to the holidays. This should lead to sharp rise of 14.7 percent year-on-year,” HSBC said.

The forecast us higher than the 3.4 percent seen a year earlier and the 9.7 percent recorded in January.

Cash remittances hit a two-month low of $2.379 billion in January. These make up the bulk of personal remittances, which also hit a two-month low of $2.655 billion.

Official remittance data for February is scheduled to be released today by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas.

“Remittances from most regions have expanded at a robust pace thus far, led by higher shipments from Asia and the Americas,” HSBC said.

Money sent from the United States, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, United Kingdom, Japan, Qatar, Canada, Kuwait and Germany comprised more than 80 percent of total cash remittances in January.

Overall, HSBC said that it expected remittances to grow at a faster rate this year after nothching a below-trend pace in 2017.

Cash remittances reached $31.3 billion for full-year 2017, 5.3 percent higher compared to the prior year and also topping the Bangko Sentral’s 4.0-percent forecast.

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