MANILA, Oct 15 Remittances from Filipinos working overseas rose 10.59 percent to $ 1.2 bi

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MANILA, Oct 15 (Reuters) Remittances from Filipinos working overseas rose 10.59 percent to $1.2 billion in August from a year ago, up sharply from last month's 4.6 percent annual increase, data from the central bank showed on Monday.

Inflows in the first eight months of the year were up 15.3 per cent to $9.34 billion from the same period a year ago.

Money sent home from more than 8 million overseas-based Filipinos, around 10 percent of the population, has helped revive growth by boosting consumption and the inflows are viewed as a key plank of the domestic economy.

The inflows have also provided strong support to the peso currency , the best performing in Asia this year after the Indian rupee . The peso was around 44.05 to the dollar in late trade, up about 11.3 percent since the start of the year.

The latest remittance figures put the Philippines well on track to post a targeted $14 billion in official remittances over the full year, an all-time high.

The central bank has however warned against over-reliance on remittances to support the economy.

''Remitters are influenced by investment opportunities even more so than altruistic considerations,'' the central bank said in a study, which will be published internally.

''Policymakers should therefore not be drawn into complacency that remittances can comfortably help the economy weather economic downturns. There is no substitute for prudent macroeconomic policies.'' The central bank study found evidence that remittances in the Philippines were ''procyclical'' -- tending to rise when economic activity improved and decline when it weakened.

This flow and ebb was partly due to the dollar-peso exchange rate. A strengthening economy leads to a peso appreciation, requiring workers to send home more dollars to meet a fixed family budget. The reverse was expected in a weakening economy.


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