BOP deficit widened to $436M in February
The country posted a balance-of-payments (BOP) deficit of $436 million in February, the fifth straight month that the amount of dollars that left the economy was more than those that came in.
Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas data released yesterday showed that last month’s BOP deficit was the widest in three months, exceeding January’s $9 million and December last year’s $214 million.
As of the end of the first two months, the deficit ballooned to $445 million, although less than half of the $1.06-billion deficit as of end-February last year.
The BOP is a summary of all the business transactions the country does with the rest of the world.
BOP data are tracked closely to ensure that the supply of dollars in the economy remains ample to allow the government as well as the private sector to transact with the rest of the world.
Sources of dollar income for the country include remittances from Filipinos overseas, sales from exports of goods and services as well as foreign investments and revenues from industries such as business process outsourcing and tourism.
The country uses the dollars it earns for the importation of goods such as food and fuel and also for external debt payments.
The country ended 2016 with a BOP deficit of $420 million. —Ben O. de Vera