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.