The country’s balance of payments (BOP) recorded an $837-million surplus in the month of November, data from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) showed.
BSP Deputy Governor Diwa Guinigundo said that the BOP position for the month was a “sharp contrast” to the $5-million surplus recorded in October.
The November surplus was lower than the $2.16 billion recorded in the same month last year.
BSP data also showed that the cumulative surplus from January to November this year amounted to about $4.67 billion, lower than the $8.6 billion surplus recorded in the first 11 months of 2012. The BOP ended with a $9.2-billion surplus last year.
Guinigundo noted that the drivers for the BOP in November would include foreign exchange deposits by the national government, and income from BSP’s investments abroad.
“The other funds would be coming from the fact that the export continue to grow,” he said. Exports from January to October increased by 1.3 percent to $45.1 billion.
Guinigundo also noted that the personal remittances from overseas Filipino workers remained robust at $20.5 billion with a 6.8-percent growth for the first 10 months of the year.
Meanwhile, the BSP official said that the robust growth of foreign direct investments (FDI) and foreign portfolio investments also supported the BOP surplus for November.
“FDI for the first nine months and FPI for first 11 months of the year have been very robust despite challenges posed by the risks generated by the announcement of the US Fed about its intention [on tapering]. What we are seeing is the continuation of the recovery in the global markets,” he said.
“Exports are recovering and remittances continue to be robust.
In the current account, we have tourism as well as revenues from BPO [business process outsourcing]contributing and supporting the BOP surplus particularly during the month of November,” he added.
BSP revises targets
Meanwhile, the BSP also on Friday announced that it has revised its projections for the BOP and other macroeconomic targets this year.
According to BSP Governor Amando Tetangco Jr., as of December, the BOP is seen to reach $5.3 billion, or 1.9 percent of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP), or higher compared to the central bank’s May projection of $4.4B.
For the current account—one of the components of the BOP—the BSP said that it is likely to reach $11.1 billion, or 3.9 percent of GDP, from an earlier forecast of $7 billion, or 2.3 percent of GDP.
The monetary authority also hiked its estimate for the gross international reserves (GIR). Tetangco said that based on the latest BOP projection, the GIR is seen to grow to $85 billion this year.
“But in my own expectation, because of the adjustments on the revaluation [of the central bank’s gold holdings and by payments by the national government for its maturing foreign exchange obligations], the GIR may fall between $83 billion and $84 billion,” he said.
In terms of trade, exports receipts are seen to reach $48.1 billion, or growing 4 percent, which is lower than the earlier projection of $51.4 billion. Imports are seen to reach $62.7 billion, or a 2-percent growth from an earlier estimate of $69.5 billion.
On the other hand, the BSP said that the BOP will remain in surplus in 2014 at $3 billion, or 0.9 percent of GDP.
Tetangco said that the lower BOP estimate next year was because of the trade deficit that would be brought by the reconstruction requirements in connection to the damages caused by Super Typhoon Yolanda.
The BSP is also seeing a more robust GIR in 2014 at $88 billion, but Tetangco said that in his own projection, the country’s foreign exchange reserves may fall between $86 billion and $87 billion because of revaluation.