BOP posts $157-M deficit in Feb.

The Philippines reported a balance of payments (BOP) deficit of $157 million in February, higher than January’s shortfall of $102 million, after the government paid its maturing loans.


Based on Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) data, the two-month BOP deficit amounted to $259 million which was much lower than what was reported same period last year of $2.77 billion.

The BSP said the shortfall in February “reflected outflows arising mainly from the National Government’s (NG) foreign currency withdrawals from its deposits with the BSP as the NG paid for its various expenditures and settled its foreign currency debt obligations.”

This brought the cumulative BOP level to a $259-million deficit and it came from the trade in goods deficit, which was partly offset by inflows such as from personal remittances and the NG’s net foreign borrowings, said the BSP.

Last Thursday, March 17, the BSP’s Monetary Board approved new BOP projections for 2022 and 2023 based on the latest available data as well as recent emerging developments such as the Russia-Ukraine war which began on Feb. 24.

The BSP revised its 2022 overall BOP position to a deficit of $4.3 billion from a surplus of $700 million it projected last December 2021.

For 2023, the BSP expects a lower BOP deficit of $2.6 billion as the current account deficit is expected to be tempered by the robust net inflows in the financial account during the year, it said.

Last year, the country’s BOP was in surplus of $1.34 billion. It was significantly lower compared to $16.02 billion in 2020.

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