Oct BOP deficit shrinks 10-mth surplus

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The balance of payments position reverted to a deficit in October and dragged the year-to-date surplus narrower from a year earlier, central bank data on Friday showed.

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The BOP deficit in October reached $183 million, a reversal of the $469 million surplus from a year earlier and $117 million in September.

The payments deficit in October brought 10-month surplus to $1.465 billion, narrower than the $2.276 billion a year earlier.

The payments surplus reached $2.62 billion last year, reversing a $2.86 billion deficit in 2014. The BSP has targeted a $2 billion surplus this year.

The BOP summarizes the country’s economic transactions with the rest of the world in a particular period. It consists of the current account, as well as capital and financial accounts.

The current account includes goods exports, remittances from overseas Filipinos, as well as business process outsourcing (BPO) revenue.

The central bank did explain the October deficit, noting the current account will remain in surplus this year after shrinking to $778 million in the second quarter year-on-year on a wider trade deficit.

Veronica Bayangos, director at the BSP Center for Monetary and Financial Policy, said on Thursday that despite the impact of weak exports in the current account, remittances and BPO revenue are largely stable.

“We expect some improvement in global demand that will spike all the volatilities in exports of goods and hopefully services as well. Another factor would also be the weakening of the Philippine peso-US dollar rate that could also improve the current account surplus in 2016 and 2017,” she said at an economic forum.

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