Bloomberg News

Philippine Remittance Growth Quickens in Boost for Spending

January 16, 2012

(Updates with comment from economist in fourth paragraph.)

Jan. 16 (Bloomberg) -- Remittances by Philippine citizens abroad increased at a faster pace in November, providing support for consumer spending and the economy as exports fall.

The funds rose 10.6 percent from a year earlier to $1.78 billion, the central bank said in a statement in Manila today. Remittances grew 6.2 percent in October.

Money sent home by the more than 8.5 million Filipinos living overseas is equivalent to about 10 percent of the economy and helps support sales by companies such as Vista Land & Lifescapes Inc. President Benigno Aquino is increasing government spending to a record this year in an effort to sustain growth at home as the global economy falters.

“Stable flows would mean there’s still household consumption,” Marc Bautista, head of research at Metropolitan Bank & Trust Co. in Manila, said before the report. “We’re still seeing good spending and although there are concerns about deployment, it’s not worrisome at this point.”

The peso dropped 0.5 percent to 43.92 per dollar at the noon break, according to Tullett Prebon Plc. The benchmark Philippine Stock Exchange Composite Index fell a second day.

--With assistance from Clarissa Batino and Cecilia Yap in Manila. Editors: Alan Soughley, Shamim Adam

To contact the reporters on this story: Max Estayo in Manila at mestayo@bloomberg.net; Karl Lester M. Yap in Manila at kyap5@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Stephanie Phang at sphang@bloomberg.net


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