PH October Balance of payments surplus hits $1.14-B

The Philippines’ has posted an overall balance of payments (BOP) surplus of US$1.14 billion in October this year, lower than the US$3.44 billion BOP surplus recorded in the same month last year. 

Last month’s BOP surplus reflected inflows mainly from the national government’s (NG) net foreign currency deposits with the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) and the BSP’s income from its investments abroad.

The BOP surplus in October brought the cumulative BOP for the first 10 months of the year to US$476 million surplus, reversing the deficit of US$665 million for the first nine months of the year. 

The current year-to-date BOP level is lower than the US$10.31 billion surplus recorded in the same period a year ago. 

Based on preliminary data, this cumulative BOP surplus was partly attributed to net inflows from personal remittances, net foreign borrowings by the NG, foreign direct investments, and trade in services.

The BOP position reflects an increase in the final gross international reserves (GIR) level to USD107.89 billion as of end-October 2021 from USD106.6 billion as of end-September 2021. 

The latest GIR level represents a more than adequate external liquidity buffer equivalent to 10.8 months’ worth of imports of goods and payments of services and primary income. 

It is also about 7.9 times the country’s short-term external debt based on original maturity and 5.5 times based on residual maturity.