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RP posts $59-M BoP deficit

The country posted a $59 million deficit on its balance of payment (BoP) position for May 2017, a reversal from month-ago’s and year-ago’s levels.
Data released by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) yesterday said the deficit last May was a reversal from the $917 million surplus last April and the $241 million surplus in May 2016.
The latest figure on BoP, which is the sum of the country’s total transactions with the rest of the world, brought the first five month’s level to a deficit of $136 million, a turn-around from year-ago’s $216 million surplus.
It was, however, lower than the recently revised $500 million full-year deficit set by the BSP for the year. Earlier assumption was $1 billion surplus.
Monetary officials traced the cut in the BOP target for the year to expected strong rise of imports, at around 10 percent for the year, on back of the rising demand of the domestic economy.
Monetary officials, thus, also cut the current account assumption from $800 million surplus to $600 million deficit.
BSP deputy governor  Diwa Guinigundo attributed the deficit in the country’s BOP position last May to the central bank’s foreign exchange operations and payments by the national government  of its maturing foreign currency-denominated liabilities.
He said these outflows were countered by government’s foreign currency deposits and the income of the central bank from its investments overseas.
“These bookings must have been driven by merchandise trade as imports continue to increase on account of good growth numbers and outflows in the foreign portfolio account,” he added.                                      

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