Preliminary data showed that the country’s gross international reserves (GIR) stood at US$81.05 billion as of end-December 2016, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Governor Amando M. Tetangco, Jr. announced today.1 This level was lower by US$0.40 billion than the end-November 2016 GIR of US$81.45 billion but higher by US$0.38 billion compared to the end-December 2015 figure of US$80.67 billion. The decline in the GIR from November to December was due mainly to outflows arising from payments made by the National Government (NG) for its maturing foreign exchange obligations, foreign exchange operations of the BSP, and revaluation adjustments on the BSP’s gold holdings resulting from the decrease in the price of gold in the international market. These were partially offset by the NG’s net foreign currency deposits along with the BSP’s income from investments abroad.
The end-December 2016 GIR level remains adequate and is able to cover 9.2 months’ worth of imports of goods and payments of services and primary income. It is also equivalent to 5.8 times the country’s short-term external debt based on original maturity and 4.2 times based on residual maturity. 2
Net international reserves (NIR), which refer to the difference between the BSP’s GIR and total short-term liabilities, decreased by US$0.40 billion to US$81.03 billion as of end-December 2016, compared to the end-November 2016 NIR of US$81.43 billion.
1 The final data on GIR are released to the public every 19th day of the month in the Statistics section of the BSP’s website under the Special Data Dissemination Standards (SDDS). If the 19th day of the month falls on a weekend or is a non-working holiday, the release date shall be the working day nearest to the 19th.
2 Short-term debt based on residual maturity refers to outstanding external debt with original maturity of one year or less, plus principal payments on medium- and long-term loans of the public and private sectors falling due within the next 12 months.