At -$58M in May, erases April, yr-earlier surpluses
THE Philippines’ balance of payments (BOP) swung back to a deficit in May from surpluses in the preceding month and from a year earlier, shaving the cumulative surplus for the first five months of 2015.
Data released by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) on Friday showed a BOP deficit of $58 million in May, a turnaround from the $380 million surplus recorded in April.
The May deficit also reversed the $373 million surplus posted a year earlier.
But except for November 2014 and March 2015, the monthly BOP position had stood at a surplus since July 2014.
BSP Deputy Governor Diwa Guinigundo said the budget gap in May resulted mainly from debt servicing by both the public and private sectors, even as remittances and business process outsourcing revenues remained strong.
“We continue to be optimistic we would sustain a BOP surplus for 2015,” Guinigundo said in a text message to reporters on Friday.
The cumulative surplus for January-May dropped to $1.20 billion from a $1.26 billion surplus recorded as of end-April. But it was still positive, compared with a $4.12 billion deficit in the same period last year.
The central bank sees the payments balance position at a $2 billion surplus by the end of the year, or a reversal of the $2.88 billion deficit at end-2014.