PH poised to end 2023 with balance of payments surplus | Inquirer Business

PH poised to end 2023 with balance of payments surplus

/ 02:18 AM December 21, 2023

MANILA  -The tally of Philippine transactions with the rest of the world posted a balance of payments (BOP) deficit of $216 million in November, significantly narrowing from the $756-million deficit a year ago.

The latest monthly result brought the January to November BOP to a surplus of $3 billion, a reversal from the $7.9-billion deficit in the same period of 2022, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) said in a statement.

The 11-month surplus reflected mainly the improvement in trade receipts as well as the higher net inflows from remittances, trade in services and foreign borrowings of the government.


“Further, net inflows from foreign direct investments contributed to the surplus, albeit lower during the covered period,” the central bank said.


The BSP said that for November alone, the BOP deficit had reflected outflows arising mainly from the national government’s payments of its foreign debt.

READ: PH forex reserves back above $100B as of end-October

Meanwhile, the gross international reserves (GIR) level increased to $102.7 billion as of the end of November from $101 billion a month earlier.

The latest GIR level is equivalent to 7.6 months’ worth of imports of goods and payments of services and primary income—more than twice the three-month coverage that is considered adequate.

Also, the end-November GIR level is about six times the country’s short-term external debt based on original maturity and 3.7 times based on residual maturity.

Michael Ricafort, chief economist at the Rizal Commercial Banking Corp., said that while the monthly BOP had swung to a deficit in November from a surplus of $1.5 billion in October, the readout may return to a surplus in December.


READ: PH posts Oct balance of payments surplus of $1.5B

This is in view of the proceeds of the national government’s maiden issue of sukuk or Shariah-compliant bonds worth $1 billion, among other factors.

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Last week, the BSP said the year-end BOP position for 2023 is now expected to register a surplus of $1.1 billion instead of a $100-million deficit that was forecast in September, thanks to heavier inflow of foreign debt and stronger growth of tourism receipts.

TAGS: BOP surplus, BSP, gross international reserves

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