BSP keeping current account deficit forecast

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The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) is sticking to its $600-million current account deficit forecast for the year given improved indicators.

The current account—a major component of the balance of payments—posted $15-million surplus in the second quarter of 2017, data released on Friday showed.

This was a reversal from the $1.25-billion deficit recorded a year earlier and brought the first-half result to a $234-million deficit, lower than the $424 billion seen in the comparable 2016 period.

“It looks like there’s a trend for imports to stabilize at its present pace but at the same time, exports is recovering in the bigger way. So I think the current account position is quite doable,” central bank Deputy Governor Diwa Guinigundo told reporters.


Rosabel Guerrero, director of the BSP’s Department of Economic Statistics, said the second quarter gain was “brought about mainly by higher net receipts in the trade-in-services and primary and secondary income accounts, which mitigated the widening trade-in-goods deficit during the quarter.”

The current account consists of transactions in goods, services, primary income and secondary income, and measures the net transfer of real resources between the domestic economy and the rest of the world.

Trade-in-services expanded by 69 percent to reach $2.3 billion in the second quarter compared to the $1.3 billion a year ago.

The primary income account posted net receipts of $1 billion, higher than the $696 million last year, while the secondary income account recorded receipts of $6.5 billion, also up from the $6.2 billion a year earlier.

The trade-in-goods deficit increased to $9.7 billion from $9.6 billion as exports rose by 17.6 percent to $12.2 billion and imports hit $22 billion, higher by 10.3 percent.

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas has forecast a $600-million current account deficit for 2017, reflecting for the most part the continuation of a widening trade deficit.

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