Current account forecast raised

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    The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas yesterday revised its current account surplus projection for this year to $9.1 billion, or 2.3 percent of GDP, up from a December forecast of $6.1 billion, or 1.5 percent of GDP.

    It expects a current-account surplus of $5.2 billion, or 1.2 percent of gross domestic product, for next year.

    The country’s 2021 external position is looking up, BSP Governor Benjamin Diokno told reporters, citing improving growth of both exports and imports.

    The current account yielded a surplus of $13 billion last year, equivalent to 3.6 percent of GDP, preliminary BSP data showed.

    The BSP revised its exports growth forecast this year to 8 percent from 5 percent in December, and expects imports to grow 12 percent versus a previous projection of 8 percent.

    It expects the gross international reserves to pick up to $114 billion by end-2021, from end-2020 level of $110.1 billion, and further to $117 billion by end-2022.

    The balance of payments is projected to yield a surplus of $6.2 billion this year, or 1.6 percent of GDP, higher than the December forecast of $3.3 billion, or 0.8 percent of GDP.

    It projects a BOP surplus of $3.8 billion, or 0.9 percent of GDP, for next year.