The country's overall balance of payments (BOP) position posted a deficit of US$1.36 billion in January 2020, a reversal from the US$2.7 billion BOP surplus recorded in the same month last year. The BOP deficit in January 2020 reflected mainly the outflows arising from the National Government's foreign currency withdrawals, which were used largely to pay its foreign currency debt obligations as well as net outflows in foreign portfolio investments.1 These outflows were partly offset, however, by inflows representing the BSP's net foreign exchange operations and income from its investments abroad during the month in review.
The BOP position reflects the final gross international reserves (GIR) level of US$86.87 billion as of end-January 2020. This GIR level represents ample liquidity buffer equivalent to 7.6 months' worth of imports of goods and payments of services and primary income. It is also equivalent to 5.4 times the country's short-term external debt based on original maturity and 4 times based on residual maturity.2,3
1 Net BSP-registered transactions for the period 1-24 January 2020 based on custodian banks' report.
2 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
3 The preliminary data on GIR as of end-December 2019 was released to the public on 7 January 2020. Preliminary data are released every 7th of the month in the Statistics section of the BSP's website in compliance with the International Monetary Fund's (IMF) Special Data Dissemination Standard (SDDS). If the 7th day of the month falls on a weekend or is a non-working holiday, the release date shall be the working day before the 7th. Meanwhile, the BOP position and final GIR data are published in the BSP's website every 19th day of the month. If the 19th day of the month falls on a weekend or is a non-working holiday, the release date shall be the working day nearest to the 19th.
Source: Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas