BOP surplus reaches $6.27 B in November

Published December 19, 2019, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By LEE C. CHIPONGIAN

The country’s balance of payments (BOP) surplus was at $6.27 billion as of end-November, reversing the $4.75 billion deficit reported the same time in 2018, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) said yesterday.

In a statement, the BSP said the BOP surplus in the first 11 months was due to the following: lower trade in goods account deficit, higher net receipts in the trade in services account and personal remittance inflows from overseas Filipinos, and net inflows of foreign direct investments and foreign portfolio investments.

For November only, the surplus stood at $541 million, more than $163 million in October but lower than the $847 million recorded same time in 2018.

“Inflows in November reflected the BSP’s foreign exchange operations, increase in the National Government’s (NG) net foreign currency deposits and BSP’s income from its investments abroad,” said the BSP. “These inflows were offset, however, by outflows representing payments made by the NG on its foreign exchange obligations during the month in review.”

The BSP also reported end-November final gross international reserves (GIR) data which amounted to $86.23 billion, good enough for 7.5 months’ worth of imports of goods and payments of services and primary income.

The BSP last week revised its 2019 BOP estimates and it now expects $4.8 billion versus previous projection of $3.7 billion. The $4.8 billion surplus expected BOP closing is equivalent to 1.3 percent of GDP.

The central bank, in the meantime, lowered its current account projection to $5.6 billion deficit from its earlier projection of $10.1 billion shortfall. The current account deficit is about 1.5 percent of GDP.

For 2020, the BOP expects a lower BOP surplus of $3 billion which is 0.7 percent of GDP. The current account deficit is projected to increase however to $8.4 billion which is 2.1 percent of GDP.

BSP Department of Economic Research Director Dennis D. Lapid said the revised estimates for both 2019 and 2020 are based on key considerations such as the more subdued global economic growth outlook, softer global trade growth and continued vulnerability of commodity prices.

 
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