The country’s gross international reserves (GIR) level, based on preliminary data, settled at US$86.42 billion as of end-January 2020 from the end-December 2019 GIR level of US$87.84 billion. At this level, the GIR can cover 7.6 months’ worth of imports of goods and services and payments of primary income. It is also equivalent to 5.3 times the country’s short-term external debt based on original maturity and 4 times based on residual maturity.
The month-on-month decline in the GIR level reflected outflows arising from the National Government’s foreign exchange withdrawal, which was used mainly to pay its foreign exchange obligations. However, the decline was partially tempered by the BSP’s net foreign exchange purchases from its foreign exchange operations and income from its investments abroad.
Net international reserves (NIR), which refers to the difference between the BSP’s GIR and total short-term liabilities, likewise decreased by US$1.42 billion to US$86.42 billion as of end-January 2020 from the end-December 2019 level of US$87.84 billion.
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 Standard (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.
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.