The country’s overall balance of payments (BOP) position posted a surplus of $248 million in July 2019, a reversal of the $455 million BOP deficit in the same month last year. Inflows in July 2019 were reflected in the BSP’s foreign exchange operations and income from its investments abroad as well as in the National Government’s (NG) net foreign currency deposits. These inflows were offset partially, however, by outflows which were reflected in the payments made by the NG on its foreign exchange obligations during the month in review.
On a cumulative basis, the BOP position for the period January – July 2019 posted a surplus of $5.04 billion, a turnaround from the $3.71 billion BOP deficit recorded in the first seven months of 2018. The surplus may be attributed partly to remittance inflows from overseas Filipinos during the first half of the year and net inflows of foreign direct investments during the first five months of the year.
The BOP position reflects the final gross international reserves (GIR) level of $85.18 billion as of end-July 2019. At this level, the GIR represents a more than ample liquidity buffer and is equivalent to 7.4 months’ worth of imports of goods and payments of services and primary income. It is also equivalent to 5.2 times the country’s short-term external debt based on original maturity and 3.8 times based on residual maturity.1,2
1 Short-term debt based on residual maturity refers to outstanding external debt with original maturity of one year or less, plus principal payments on medium- and long-term loans of the public and private sectors falling due within the next 12 months.
2 The preliminary data on GIR as of end-July 2019 was released to the public on 7 August 2019. Preliminary data are released every 7th of the month in the Statistics section of the BSP’s website in compliance with the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) Special Data Dissemination Standard (SDDS). If the 7th day of the month falls on a weekend or is a non-working holiday, the release date shall be the working day before the 7th. Meanwhile, the BOP position and final GIR data are published in the BSP’s website every 19th day of the month. If the 19th day of the month falls on a weekend or is a non-working holiday, the release date shall be the working day nearest to the 19th.
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