BOP deficit narrowed further to $414M in Sept | Inquirer Business

BOP deficit narrowed further to $414M in Sept

/ 02:30 AM October 20, 2023

MANILA  -The deficit in the Philippines’ balance of payments (BOP) narrowed for the sixth month in a row to $414 million in September, down from $2.3 billion in the same month last year, preliminary data at the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) show.

The BSP said in a statement that the BOP deficit in September reflected net outflows that arose mainly from the national government’s payments of its foreign currency debt obligations.

Still, the latest monthly readout on the tally of the country’s transactions with the rest of the world was more than seven times as big as the $57-million deficit recorded last August.


READ: BOP deficit narrowed further to $57M in Aug, says BSP


Meanwhile, the BOP position since the start of this year remained at a surplus, pegged at $1.74 billion, albeit whittled down from $3.08 billion last January.


However, the nine-month BOP surplus this year was a turnaround from a deficit of $7.93 billion in the same period in 2022.

“This development reflected mainly the improvement in the balance of trade and the higher net inflows from personal remittances, trade in services, and foreign borrowings by the national government,” the BSP said.

In addition, the BSP said gross international reserves (GIR) eased to $98.1 billion at the end of September.

READ: PH dollar reserves dip on gov’t debt repayments

This final GIR print for September was less than the preliminary figure of $98.7 billion reported earlier this month, and meant a decrease of $900 million from the $99.6 billion recorded at the end of August.


The reserves, however, remain a more-than-adequate external liquidity buffer, being equivalent to 7.3 months’ worth of imports of goods and payments of services and primary income.

Low risk

The stock is also about 5.7 times the country’s short-term external debt based on original maturity and 3.6 times based on residual maturity.

In a report on macroeconomic risks that was released earlier this week, DBS Bank said the Philippines was among a few emerging economies in Asia that are least at risk, based on data from 2022.

The study looked at the 25 economies in terms of key indicators such as foreign exchange reserves, fiscal balance, private- and public-sector debt, external debt, savings-investment balance, gross external funding requirement, and real exchange rate.

DBS said Taiwan, Indonesia and Philippines have some of the best scores in Asia. Based on 2022 data, the Philippines ranked ninth in terms of least risk to vulnerabilities.

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However, this was a notch down from eight in 2021, and the worst since ranking No. 1 based on 2017 data. The study series started in 2016, when the Philippines ranked fourth. INQ

TAGS: BOP deficit, BSP, GIR

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