The country’s balance of payments position posted a deficit of $148 million in April, lower than $415-million shortfall recorded in the same month last year, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas said over the weekend.
“The BOP deficit in April 2023 reflected outflows arising mainly from the national government’s payments of its foreign currency debt obligations,” it said in a statement.
It said despite the deficit in April, the cumulative BOP position registered a surplus of $3.3 billion in the first four months, higher than the $79-million surplus recorded a year ago.
Preliminary data from the BSP showed that the cumulative BOP surplus reflected inflows that stemmed mainly from personal remittances, net foreign borrowings by the government and foreign direct investments.
The BOP deficit hit $7.3 billion last year, a turnaround from the $1.3-billion surplus recorded in 2021.
The gross international reserves level increased to $101.8 billion as of end-April from $101.5 billion as of end-March. The latest GIR level represented a more than adequate external liquidity buffer equivalent to 7.6 months’ worth of imports of goods and payments of services and primary income.
It was also about 6.0 times the country’s short-term external debt based on original maturity and 4.1 times based on residual maturity.
BOP is the difference in total value between payments into and out of a country over a period.
The BSP adjusted its BOP deficit forecast this year to $1.6 billion from a previous assumption of a $5.4-billion deficit.
GIR is expected to reach $100 billion this year, higher than the previous forecast of $93 billion and is seen to increase further to $102 billion next year.
Remittances are expected to grow slower by 3 percent this year and in 2024 compared to the previous growth assumption of 4 percent.