Central bank tweaking BOP forecasts for 2015

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The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) is finalizing revisions to its balance of payments (BOP) projections, particularly with respect to trade performance and foreign portfolio components.

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“Because of . . . actual performance, most likely, the change would be in trade and maybe portfolio investments,” central bank Governor Amando Tetangco Jr., told reporters at the sidelines of a forum on Tuesday.

Still, he said the overall BOP projection of a $2-billion surplus remained achievable.

“If you recall the January to September BOP position, it was at [a]$1.8-billion surplus, so the projected $2-billion surplus is very close . . . achievable,” he said.

Latest data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) showed that as of end-August, the country’s merchandise exports were down 4.3 percent to $39.34 billion from a year ago, while cumulative imports expanded by 1.5 percent to $43.65 billion.

This resulted in a trade deficit of $4.310 billion for the current eight-month period, wider than the $1.890-billion deficit seen a year earlier.

The current growth rates for exports and imports are below the central banks respective projections of 7 percent and 2 percent for 2015.

Meanwhile, cumulative foreign portfolio investments as of September yielded a net outflow of $414 million, narrowing from the $854-million net outflow seen in the comparable period last year.

This also way below the central bank’s $1.4-billion net inflow projection for this year.

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.

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