The country’s balance of payments position posted a surplus of $248 million in July, a reversal of the $455-million deficit in the same month last year, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas said Monday.
Data showed the July surplus was also a turnaround from the $404-million deficit in June.
The figure brought the BOP position in the first seven months to a surplus of $5.036 billion, a reversal of the $3.71-billion deficit a year ago.
“Inflows in July 2019 were reflected in the BSP’s foreign exchange operations and income from its investments abroad as well as in the national government’s net foreign currency deposits,” the BSP said in a statement.
These inflows were offset partially by outflows which were reflected in the payments made by the national government on foreign exchange obligations.
The BSP said the seven-month surplus could be attributed partly to remittance inflows from overseas Filipinos and net inflows of foreign direct investments.
“The BoP position reflects the final gross international reserves level of $85.18 billion as of end-July 2019. At this level, the GIR represents a more than ample liquidity buffer and is equivalent to 7.4 months’ worth of imports of goods and payments of services and primary income,” the BSP said.
It is also equivalent to 5.2 times the country’s short-term external debt based on original maturity and 3.8 times based on residual maturity.
The BSP revised upward the balance of payments projection this year to a surplus of $3.7 billion from a deficit of $2.3 billion in 2018.
It said other key considerations in the revised BoP projections were the near-term moderation in the global trade outlook, expected decline in commodity prices, possible ratcheting up of trade tensions between the US and China and US Fed’s shift to “dovish” monetary policy stance.
Other factors were the uncertainties over Brexit developments, expected a modest rebound in non-resident capital flows to emerging markets and the bright outlook of the domestic economy.
BoP summarizes the country’s economic transactions with the rest of the world. Persistent BoP surpluses help build up the country’s gross international reserves, an ample supply of which helps prop up the peso against the US dollar and keep domestic inflation at bay.