9-month BOP surplus hits $1.81B
The Philippine economy made more money from dealings overseas than was spent importing goods or outflows due to exiting investors in September even as global markets tumbled.
Documents from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) showed a surplus in the country’s balance-of-payments (BOP) position, which is the difference between the amount of money that comes in and the cash the economy spends overseas.
This was an improvement from the 19-month high deficit posted the month before.
“Inflows from BSP’s foreign exchange operations, income from abroad and deposits of the national government more than covered the payments for government foreign exchange obligations,” BSP Governor Amando M. Tetangco Jr. said.
September’s surplus reached $219 million, better than the deficit of $450 million the month before. Dollar reserves, which rise and fall with the BOP, inched up to $80.31 billion as of end-September, data released earlier this month showed.
As a result, the country’s nine-month BOP position reached a surplus of $1.81 billion. Tetangco said this meant the government assumption of reaching a BOP surplus of $2 billion this year was within reach.
“The healthy BOP figure augurs well for stability in foreign exchange markets,” Tetangco said.
The BOP surplus reflects steady sources of dollar income for the economy, which ensures local businesses and the government have the foreign currencies needed to deal with the rest of the world.
Remittances from overseas Filipino workers (OFW) are the Philippines’ biggest source of dollar income. Latest data showed a 0.6-percent drop in cash transfers from migrants in August, although officials still expected the 5-percent growth forecast for the year to be met.
Other major sources of dollar income are revenue from tourism, the outsourcing industry, investments and exports. The economy spends dollars on debt payments and imports.
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