The country’s overall balance of payments (BOP) position posted a surplus of $38 million in September 2019, a reversal from the $2.7 billion BOP deficit recorded in the same month last year.
Inflows in September 2019 were reflected in the National Government’s (NG) net foreign currency deposits and BSP’s income from its investments abroad. These inflows were offset, however, by outflows representing 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 – September 2019 posted a surplus of $5.57 billion, a turnaround from the $5.14 billion BOP deficit recorded in the first three quarters of 2018. The surplus may be attributed partly to personal remittance inflows from overseas Filipinos and net inflows of foreign direct investments.
The BOP position reflects the final gross international reserves (GIR) level of $85.58 billion as of end-September 2019.
At this level, the GIR represents a more-than-ample liquidity buffer equivalent to 7.4 months’ worth of imports of goods and payments of services and primary income. It is also equivalent to 5.4 times the country’s short-term external debt based on original maturity and 3.9 times based on residual maturity.