Balance of payment posts bigger deficit of $895B in February



The country’s overall balance of payments (BOP) position posted a deficit of $895 million in February 2023, which is higher than the $157 million BOP deficit recorded in the same month last year.

Furthermore, the gross international reserves (GIR) level decreased to $98.2 billion as of end-February 2023 from $100.7 billion as of end-January 2023.

“The BOP deficit in February 2023 reflected outflows arising mainly from the National Government’s (NG) net foreign currency withdrawals from its deposits with the BSP to settle its foreign currency debt obligations and pay for its various expenditures,” the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) said in a statement.

Notwithstanding the deficit in February, the cumulative BOP position remained at a surplus of $2.2 billion in the first two months of the year. This level is a reversal from the $259 million-deficit recorded in the same period a year ago. Based on preliminary data, the cumulative BOP surplus reflected inflows that stemmed mainly from the Global Bond issuance of the NG in January 2023, personal remittances, and foreign portfolio investments.

For the GIR, the BSP said: “Nonetheless, the latest GIR level represents a more than adequate external liquidity buffer equivalent to 7.4 months’ worth of imports of goods and payments of services and primary income.”

The latest GIR figure is also about 5.9 times the country’s short-term external debt based on original maturity and 3.9 times based on residual maturity.


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