The country’s balance of payments (BoP) position hit a deficit of $368 million in October, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) reported on Monday, wider than the $183-million shortfall recorded a year earlier.
“Outflows stemmed mainly from the foreign exchange operations of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) and payments made by the National Government (NG) for its maturing foreign exchange obligations during the month in review,” the central bank said in a statement.
The result brought the year-to-date BoP position to a $1.735-billion deficit, a reversal from the $1.46-billion surplus recorded in the same period last year.
The Bangko Sentral said that outflows in October had been partially offset by NG net foreign currency deposits and income from BSP investments abroad.
September saw the BoP revert to a $24-billion surplus — only the second for the year after March’s $917 billion — following August’s $7-billion shortfall.
The central bank earlier this year revised its 2017 BOP forecast to a deficit of $500 million from the previous estimate of a $1-billion surplus, citing “global and domestic economic developments”.
Also on Monday, the BSP announced that the country’s gross international reserves (GIR) had fallen to $80.419 billion as of end-October, lower by $197 million compared to the preliminary GIR level of $80.61 billion, due mainly to end-of-month revaluation adjustments on foreign currency-denominated reserves.
The final GIR level was also lower by $543 million than the end-September 2017 level of $80.96 billion.