The country’s overall balance of payments (BOP) position in November 2017 posted a deficit of US$44 million, lower than the US$1.7 billion deficit recorded in the same month last year. Notwithstanding the decline in the deficit in November, the BOP position for the period January-November 2017 posted a higher deficit of US$1.8 billion compared to the US$206 million BOP deficit recorded in the same period last year.
Outflows in November 2017 stemmed mainly from payments made by the National Government (NG) for its maturing foreign exchange obligations during the month in review. These were offset by the net foreign currency deposits of the NG and income from the BSP’s investments abroad. The higher cumulative BOP deficit for January- November 2017 was brought about largely by the big reversal in foreign portfolio investments from US$1.3 billion net inflow to US$770 million net outflow for the first ten months of the year.1
The BOP position reflected the final GIR level of US$80.3 billion as of end-November 2017. The GIR level remains adequate as it can cover 8.2 months’ worth of imports of goods and payments of services and primary income. It is also equivalent to
5.6 times the country’s short-term external debt based on original maturity and 4.1 times based on residual maturity.2 3
1 Foreign portfolio investments refer to net BSP-registered portfolio transactions based on custodian banks’ reports
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.
3 The preliminary data on GIR as of end-November 2017 was released to the public on 7 December 2017. Preliminary data are released every 7th of the month in the Statistics section of the BSP’s website in compliance with the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) Special Data Dissemination Standards (SDDS). If the 7th day of the month falls on a weekend or is a non-working holiday, the release date shall be the working day before the 7th. Meanwhile, the BOP position and final GIR data are published in the BSP’s website every 19th day of the month. 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.