Thursday, 19 March 2009

More Filipinos saving, investing—BSP survey

By Lawrence Agcaoili
Manila Standard

More Filipino families are saving and investing money sent home by their relatives working overseas to cope with the full impact of the global economic crisis.

The Consumer Expectation Survey in the first quarter conducted from Jan. 12 to 23 by the Bangko Sentral showed that the percentage of households that allotted portions of remittances to savings and investments increased in the first quarter of the year from the fourth quarter of last year.

The survey also showed that one out of 10 households in the Philippines had at least one family member working or living abroad.

It added that the portion of remittances allotted for savings increased to 40 percent in the first quarter of the year from 35.8 percent in the fourth quarter of last year while the amount utilized for investments inched up to 5.9 percent from 4.7 percent.

The survey showed that 11.2 percent of the households that receive remittances from their relatives abroad bought houses.

Bangko Sentral Deputy Gov. Diwa Guinigundo told reporters that the increasing proportion of remittances allotted for savings and investments was good for the economy because the multiplier effects could be significant in the future.

“Savings and investments increase the pool of resources available to both households and companies for their credit needs. That helps sustain economic activity,” he said.

Guinigundo said there was room for further growth in the country’s level of savings, which is lower than other countries in the region.

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