Preliminary data showed that the country’s gross international reserves (GIR) stood at $81.05 billion as of end-December 2016, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Governor Amando Tetangco announced last week.
This level was lower by $0.40 billion than the end-November 2016 GIR of $81.45 billion but higher by $0.38 billion compared to the end-December 2015 figure of $80.67 billion.
The decline in the GIR from November to December was due mainly to outflows arising from payments made by the National Government (NG) for its maturing foreign exchange obligations, foreign exchange operations of the BSP, and revaluation adjustments on the BSP’s gold holdings resulting from the decrease in the price of gold in the international market.
These were partially offset by the NG’s net foreign currency deposits along with the BSP’s income from investments abroad.
The end-December 2016 GIR level remains adequate and is able to cover 9.2 months’ worth of imports of goods and payments of services and primary income.
It is also equivalent to 5.8 times the country’s short-term external debt based on original maturity and 4.2 times based on residual maturity. 2
Net international reserves (NIR), which refer to the difference between the BSP’s GIR and total short-term liabilities, decreased by $0.40 billion to $81.03 billion as of end-December 2016, compared to the end-November 2016 NIR of $81.43 billion.