Category : Press Release
Date : December 28, 2020
Agency : Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas
Title : BOP in November 2020 at US$1.47 Billion Surplus; YTD BOP Surplus & GIR Level Rise to US$11.79 Billion & US$104.82 Billion, Respectively
Article : The country’s overall balance of payments (BOP) position posted a surplus of US$1.47 billion in November 2020, bringing the year-to-date surplus position to US$11.79 billion. The BOP surplus in November 2020 reflected inflows mainly from the BSP’s foreign exchange operations and income from its investments abroad. These inflows were partly offset, however, by the foreign currency withdrawals the National Government (NG) made to pay its foreign currency debt obligations.

The eleven months cumulative BOP surplus of US$11.79 billion was higher than the US$6.27 billion surplus recorded for the same period a year ago. Based on preliminary data, the current BOP surplus was supported mainly by higher net foreign borrowings by the NG and lower merchandise trade deficit along with sustained net inflows from personal remittances, foreign direct investments, and trade in services.(1)

The BOP position reflects an increase in the final gross international reserves (GIR) level to US$104.82 billion as of end-November 2020 compared with US$103.8 billion as of end-October 2020. The latest GIR level represents an adequate external liquidity buffer, which can help cushion the domestic economy against external shocks.(2) This is equivalent to 11.2 months’ worth of imports of goods and payments of services and primary income. Moreover, it is also about 9.2 times the country’s short-term external debt based on original maturity and 5.3 times based on residual maturity.(3)

1 Based on the International Merchandise Trade Statistics (IMTS) of the Philippines published by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) for January-October 2020, personal remittances from overseas Filipinos for January-October 2020, and foreign direct investments and trade in services for January-September 2020.
2 Specifically, it ensures availability of foreign exchange to meet balance of payments financing needs, such as for payment of imports and debt service, in extreme conditions when there are no export earnings or foreign loans.
3 Short-term debt based on residual maturity refers to outstanding external debt with original maturity of one year or less, plus principal payments on medium- and long-term loans of the public and private sectors falling due within the next 12 months.

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