PH posts US$24-M BOP surplus in Sept. ’17

October 20, 2017 - 12:39 AM
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Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas headquarters in Manila. The central bank’s first quarter Consumer Expectations Survey (CES) for 2018 showed an index of 1.7 percent, down from the previous quarter’s 9.5 percent and year-ago’s 8.7 percent. (Reuters file photo)

MANILA – The Philippines balance of payment (BOP) position reversed to a surplus in September 2017 after staying in deficit since last May.

Data released by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Thursday night showed a USD24 million BOP surplus in the ninth month this year, an improvement from month-ago’s USD7 million deficit but lower than last year’s USD117 million surplus.

The positive BOP figure last September resulted in the drop in the year-to-date deficit to USD1.37 billion from month-ago’s USD1.39 billion, which in turn, was a big decline from the USD1.648 billion surplus in the same period last year.

BOP refers to the total transactions of a country with the rest of the world.

The BSP’s BOP assumption for the year is a deficit of USD500 million.

In 2016, the country registered a USD420- million BDO deficit.

Philippine monetary officials expect the country’s BOP position to be buoyed by the recovery in merchandise exports and higher-than-expected growth of remittances from Overseas Filipino Workers.

Last August alone, exports registered a year-on-year growth of 9.3 percent, a big improvement from the 1.8 percent decline in August 2016.

During the same period, total inflows from OFWs grew by 9.4 percent to USD 2.8 billion. As of end-August, total remittances grew by 6.4 percent to USD20.72 billion.

The central bank’s remittance growth assumption for the year is four percent.