Preliminary data showed that the country’s gross international reserves (GIR) rose to US$81.5 billion as of end-December 2017, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Governor Nestor A. Espenilla announced today.1 This was higher than the US$80.3 billion level recorded in November 2017 due mainly to inflows arising from the BSP’s foreign exchange operations, net foreign currency deposits by the National Government (NG), revaluation adjustments on the BSP’s gold holdings resulting from the increase in the price of gold in the international market, and income from the BSP’s investments abroad. These were partially offset by payments made by the NG and the BSP for their maturing foreign exchange obligations.
The end-December 2017 GIR level remains adequate as it can cover 8.3 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, increased by US$1.1 billion to US$81.4 billion as of end-December 2017, compared to the end-November 2017 NIR of US$80.3 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.