• BSP reviews BOP goal amid global risks

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    THE central bank is reviewing its balance of payments (BOP) projections for this year as it remains watchful of risks to global growth.

    “We are reviewing our BOP forecast. Will announce [it]probably [in]May,” Diwa Guinigundo, deputy governor of the Bangko Sentrla ng Pilipinas’ (BSP) Monetary Stability Sector told reporters in a text message on Thursday.

    The BSP’s initial forecast is that the country will end 2015 with a payments surplus of $1 billion.

    “While the BOP for the first two months of 2015 looks promising because of good current account and capital/financial account positions, we have to be very cautious of possible global growth risks and those that could trigger financial market volatilities,” Guinigundo added.

    The BOP in February registered a $985 million surplus, up by more than $800 million from the $136 million surplus in January. It was also significantly higher than the $345 million surplus seen in February last year.

    For the first two months of the year, the payments surplus reached $1.121 billion, slightly higher than the $1.084 billion surplus in the corresponding two-month period in 2014.

    The BOP summarizes the country’s economic transactions with the rest of the world over a certain period. It consists of the current account, capital account, and the financial account.

    Analysts from Singapore’s DBS and ING Bank Manila earlier forecast that the current account will continue to post surpluses in 2015, contributing 2 percent to 3 percent to gross domestic product (GDP).

    Robust dollar inflows from overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and business process outsourcing (BPO) remittances are seen to support the current account.

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

    Last year, the country posted a BOP deficit of $2.88 billion, reversing the payments surplus of $5.09 billion recorded in 2013.

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