The country’s gross international reserves (GIR) ended the year 2005 at US$18.414 billion, higher by 2.0 percent compared to the end-November 2005 level of US$18.059 billion and by 13.5 percent from the level in end-December 2004. The end-2005 GIR level was also significantly higher than the reserve target of US$17 billion. The current GIR level was adequate to cover about 3.8 months of imports of goods and payments of services and income. This level was also equivalent to 2.9 times the country’s short-term debt based on original maturity and 1.6 times based on residual maturity. Short-term debt based on residual maturity pertains 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.
The higher month-on-month GIR level was attributed mainly to the deposit by the National Government of its loan proceeds as well as the Bangko Sentral’s income from investments abroad and foreign exchange operations. These inflows were, however, partly offset by payments of maturing foreign exchange obligations of the National Government (NG) and the BSP.
Net international reserves, inclusive of revaluation of reserve assets and reserve-related liabilities, rose to US$17.571 billion, up by 2.0 percent from the end-November 2005 level of US$17.226 billion and by 20.7 percent from the end-2004 level of US$14.560 billion.