In January-July 2017, cash remittances from Filipinos overseas reached US$16.10 billion, up by 5.0% from US$15.32 billion in the same period last year. Remittances in July 2017 amounted to US$2.28 billion, an increase of 7.1% from US$2.13 billion in July 2016.
USA was the biggest country contributor at US$5.36 billion, comprising 33.3% of the total cash remittances to the Philippines in January-July 2017. Saudi Arabia came in next with US$1.52 billion, followed by UAE with US$1.39 billion, Singapore with US$1.00 billion, and Japan with US$0.84 billion.
The national government’s fiscal balance posted a surplus of PhP28.81 billion in August 2017 from the deficit of PhP50.51 billion recorded the previous month. In January-August 2017, the country recorded a PhP176.17 billion deficit, 27.32% higher than last year’s deficit of PhP138.38 billion.
Revenue in January-August 2017 increased to PhP1,601.39 billion from the PhP1,480.77 billion recorded the previous year, resulting in a 8.2% growth in revenue collections year-to-date. However, national government spending reached PhP1,777.56 billion, up by 9.8% from the PhP1,619.15 billion recorded in the same period last year.
The country’s employment rate in July 2017 was estimated at 94.4%, compared to the 94.6% employment rate in July 2016. During the same period, the labor force participation rate (LFPR) was estimated at 60.6% with a 70.2 million population of 15 years old and over.
The largest proportion of workers were employed in the services sector comprising 55.6% of the total employed in July 2017. The agriculture sector employed 25.2%, while the industry sector absorbed 19.2%.
In July 2017, the underemployment rate, which is the percentage of the underemployed to the total employed, was estimated at 16.3%, lower than its July 2016 level at 17.3%. The unemployment rate, on the other hand, was estimated at 5.6%, marginally higher than the 5.4% recorded in the same period last year.
The Philippines' gross international reserves (GIR) reduced by US$379 million from US$81.73 billion in August to US$81.35 billion in September 2017, which could adequately cover 8.5 months’ worth of imports of goods and payments of services and income.
Net international reserves – the difference between the GIR and total short-term liabilities – decreased to US$81.34 billion as of end-September 2017, compared to the end-August 2017 level of US$81.72 billion.
The country’s foreign currency reserves rose to US$5.95 billion, the highest level since January 2017. Its gold holdings posted a decline of US$366.2 million to US$8.06 billion as of end-September 2017, compared from end-August’s level of US$8.43 billion.