BOP posts $572m deficit in August; GIR settles at $97.4m
The overall balance of payments (BOP) position posted a deficit of $572 million in August, a reversal from the $1 billion BOP surplus recorded in the same month last year.
The BOP deficit in August reflected outflows arising mainly from the National Government’s foreign currency withdrawals from its deposits with the BSP to settle its foreign currency debt obligations and pay for its various expenditures.
The BOP deficit in August brought the cumulative BOP level for January-August to $5.5 billion deficit, higher than the $253 million deficit recorded in the same period a year ago. Based on preliminary data, this cumulative BOP deficit reflected the widening trade in goods deficit.
The gross international reserves level declined to $97.4 billion as of end-August from $99.8 billion as of end-July.
Nonetheless, the latest GIR level represents a more than adequate external liquidity buffer equivalent to 7.8 months’ worth of imports of goods and payments of services and primary income. Moreover, it is also about 7 times the country’s short-term external debt based on original maturity and 4.4 times based on residual maturity. BSP