PH registers $600M surplus in balance of paymentsBy Michelle V. Remo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
The country registered a surplus of over $600 million in its balance of payments in October, driven partly by dollar inflows in the form of remittances, as well as investments in the business process outsourcing sector.
The amount is about three times more than the $208 million recorded in the same month last year.
“Exports, remittances, tourism receipts, and BPO revenues have been fueling the surplus,” BSP Deputy Governor Diwa Guinigundo told reporters.
The surplus in October brought the total for the first 10 months of the year to $6.4 billion. But the figure still represented a 35-percent decline from the $9.9 billion reported in the same period a year ago.
Despite the year-on-year decline, the BSP said the surplus helped boost the country’s total reserves of foreign exchange, now standing at a historic high of $82 billion.
BOP is a record of the country’s commercial and financial transactions with the rest of the world. It is computed as the difference between the inflows and outflows of foreign currencies.
The country’s foreign exchange reserves receive a boost whenever the BOP hits a surplus.
The BSP said significant inflows of foreign exchange would also serve to strengthen the peso.
Since the start of the year, the peso had appreciated by 6 percent. It now hovers in the 41 to a dollar territory, from the previous level of 43:$1 last seen in January.
Growth in remittances is attributed to labor markets’ strong demand for Filipino workers.
According to government officials, demand for Filipinos in the Middle East has helped boost remittances to the Philippines even as the eurozone and the United states are crippled with economic problems.
Also, the country’s growing foreign exchange reserves is a key factor that bolstered the country’s credit-worthiness, the BSP said.
Earlier this month, Moodys Investors Service upgraded the country’s credit standing from two notches to just a notch below investment grade.