First quarter balance of payments reverses into surplus of $3.8 billion
The balance of payments (BOP) recorded a surplus of $3.8 billion in
the first quarter, a reversal of the $1.2 billion deficit in the same quarter last year, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas ( BSP) said Friday.
This developed as a result of the higher net inflows in the financial account, mainly on account of reversal of portfolio investments to net inflows as well as increased net inflows in the other investment and direct investment accounts.
''The strong performance of the financial account during the quarter was
bolstered by favorable investor sentiment attributed to the country's solid macroeconomic fundamentals and firm economic growth prospects'', the BSP said.
The current account registered a higher deficit due to the widening gap in the trade-in-goods account, arising from continued imports of goods in support of the sustained growth of economic activity.
As a result, gross international reserves (GIR) amounted to $83.6 billion as of end-March 2019, higher than the $80.5 billion level in end-March 2018.
At this level, reserves can sufficiently cover 7.3 months' worth of imports of goods, and payments of services and primary income.
It is equivalent to five times the country's short-term external debt based on original maturity and 3.3 times based on residual maturity. DMS