The country’s overall balance of payments (BOP) position posted a surplus of $163 million in October 2019, a reversal from the $458 million BOP deficit recorded in the same month last year.
Inflows in October 2019 reflected the increase 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 – October 2019 posted a surplus of $5.73 billion, a turnaround from the $5.59 billion BOP deficit recorded in the first ten months 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 $85.83 billion as of end-October 2019.
At this level, the GIR represents a more-than-ample liquidity buffer equivalent to 7.5 months’ worth of imports of goods and payments of services and primary income.
It is also equivalent to 5.5 times the country’s short-term external debt based on original maturity and 4.1 times based on residual maturity.