The country posted a balance of payments (BoP) deficit in January, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) reported on Monday, reversing from a December rebound to the shortfalls that marked most of last year.
January’s $531-million deficit followed the previous month’s $917-million surplus and was wider than the $9-million shortfall recorded a year earlier. It was also the largest since July 2017 when the payments position stood at a deficit of $569 million.
“Outflows in January 2018 stemmed mainly from foreign exchange operations of the BSP and payments made by the national government for maturing foreign exchange obligations,” the Bangko Sentral said in a statement.
These were partially offset by net foreign currency deposits of the national government and income from the central bank’s investments abroad during the month, it added.
The country ended 2017 with a BoP deficit of $863 million, wider than the $420 million in 2016.
The shortfall is expected to balloon to $1 billion this year.