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January-November 2000 Current Account Surplus Surges to $7.6 Billion

02.22.2001

“The current account surplus surged to $7.6 billion due mainly to the strong performance of exports which grew by 8.1 percent during the first eleven months of 2000.  Machinery and transport equipment, electronics and garments continued to be the top three export gainers.   

“Imports, on the other hand, were higher by 5.7 percent due to increased imports of capital goods as well as mineral fuels and lubricants.  In particular, imports of capital goods rose on account of higher telecommunication equipment and electrical machinery imports.  Meanwhile, notwithstanding the volume decline of oil imports, mineral fuels and lubricants imports increased as the unit price of petroleum crude in the world market rose by 80 percent to US$27.74 per barrel.  By contrast, imports of raw materials and intermediate goods as well as consumer goods declined by 3.0 percent and 4.8 percent, respectively.  

“Net foreign direct investments for the first eleven months of 2000 surged to $1.446 billion.  Direct investment inflows were channeled to telecommunication, banking, electronics and automotive industries as well as oil exploration, fuel and chemical manufacturing, and construction activities.  

“Meanwhile, portfolio investments during the review period posted a net inflow of $37 million due mainly to non-residents’ purchases of government bonds issued in March and in August as well as the yen-denominated private note placements in November.  

“Notwithstanding the net inflows of direct and portfolio investments during the review period, the financial account recorded a deficit of almost $5.0 billion mainly due to the net outflow of short-term trade credits.    

“Thus, despite the sustained favorable current account balance, the overall BOP position from January to November 2000 exhibited a deficit of $918 million. 

“These developments brought the gross international reserves to $14.489 billion as of end-November 2000.  At this level, reserves were equivalent to 4.3 months imports of goods, services and income. 

“Relative to the program level, the current account surplus of $7.6 billion was higher by $1.6 billion following the better-than-expected trade-in-goods surplus.  Meanwhile, the capital and financial account recorded a higher deficit of $4.9 billion relative to the program on account of a higher net outflow of short-term capital and lower medium- and long-term net loan availments.”   

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