BOP surplus stands at $75 million in May

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The country’s balance of payments (BOP) position recorded a surplus of $75 million in May, data from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) showed on Wednesday.

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The May figure was lower compared to the $274-million surplus in April 2013, as well as to the $138-million surplus recorded in the same month last year.

The BSP data also said that cumulative surplus from January to May 2013 stood at $1.884 billion.

It was higher than the $1.302-billion surplus recorded in the first five months of 2012.

The BOP summarizes the country’s economic transactions with the rest of the world, such that a surplus means dollar receipts exceed payments and a deficit the reverse.

After ending last year with a $9.2-billion surplus, the central bank forecasts the country’s external payments position to moderate to $3 billion by end-2013 on expectations of stronger imports, which are seen rising 12 percent year-on-year.

The BSP explained that persistent BOP surpluses help build up the country’s gross international reserves (GIR), an ample supply of which helps prop up the peso and keeps domestic inflation at bay.

Earlier, BSP said that end-May GIR stood at $82.9 billion, slightly lower by $300 million than the end-April 2013 GIR of $83.2 billion.

The central bank also expects the GIR to hit $86 billion by yearend, up from last year’s $83.8 billion.

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