BOP surplus shrinks

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Down to $136M in Jan from $864M in Dec; up from yr-earlier $4.5B deficit

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The Philippines’ balance of payments (BOP) surplus stood precariously near the edge of positive territory at the start of 2015, losing much ground from December when it looked to have made a significant rebound from a multi-billion dollar deficit in January 2014.

payment

The BOP in January registered a $136 million surplus, shrinking by more than $700 million from the $864 million BOP surplus in December 2014, data released by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) on Wednesday showed..

December had marked a strong reversal of a $4.48 billion deficit recorded in January last year.

Govt focus on surplus
BSP Deputy Governor Diwa Guinigundo focused on the fact that the January position remained in a surplus, saying the BOP figure during the first month came in as expected.

For the whole of 2015, the BSP has projected a $1 billion surplus.

Guinigundo said the payments balance in January may have come from the positive performance of foreign portfolio investments and the sectors under the current accounts component of the BOP.

He noted that foreign portfolio investments alone ended January with a net surplus of $591.62 million.

“I would also say that the current account must have continued to be resilient particularly exports, tourism, business process outsourcing revenues, and remittances,” Guinigundo said in a text message to reporters.

Current accounts consist of transactions in goods, services, primary income and secondary income, and measure the net transfer of real resources between the domestic economy and the rest of the world.

Despite the solid surplus in December, the country’s balance of payments for full-year 2014 ended in negative territory, with a $2.88 billion deficit, reversing the 2013 surplus of $5.09 billion.

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