PH gross gross reserves fall as BOP deficit rises in Aug.

The Philippines’ gross international reserves fell further in August as the country’s balance of payments deficit widened again, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas said on Monday.
The country posted a BOP deficit of $572 million in August 2022, a reversal from the $1 billion BOP surplus recorded in the same month last year, the BSP said.

This brought the country’s total BOP deficit from January to August to $5.5 billion, higher than the $253 million deficit recorded in the same period a year ago.

The gross international reserves level also declined to $97.4 billion as of end-August 2022 from $99.8 billion as of end-July 2022.

The central bank said the BOP deficit in August 2022 reflected outflows arising mainly from the government’s payment of foreign debt and other expenses.

Based on preliminary data, this cumulative BOP deficit also reflected the widening trade in goods deficit, the BSP added.

“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,” the BSP said.

The country’s reserves are also about 7 times the country’s short-term external debt based on original maturity and 4.4 times based on residual maturity, the central bank added.

The Philippine peso has also significantly weakened against the dollar this year, making foreign debt payments more costly.

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