MANILA, Sept. 20 (Xinhua) -- The Philippines' overall balance of payments (BOP) position posted a deficit of 57 million U.S. dollars in August, lower than a deficit of 572 million dollars a year ago, the country's central bank said Tuesday.
The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) said the BOP deficit in August this year reflected net outflows arising mainly from the national government's payments of its foreign currency debt obligations.
Notwithstanding the deficit in August, the cumulative BOP position registered a surplus of 2.1 billion dollars in the first eight months of the year, which "was a reversal from the 5.5 billion dollars deficit recorded in the same period a year ago," the BSP said.
Based on preliminary data, the BSP said the development reflected mainly the improvement in the balance of trade and the sustained net inflows from personal remittances, trade in services, and the national government's foreign borrowings.
The BSP also said the gross international reserves (GIR) level decreased to 99.6 billion dollars as of end-August 2023 from 100 billion dollars as of end-July 2023.
The central bank said the latest GIR level represents a more than adequate external liquidity buffer equivalent to 7.4 months' worth of imports of goods and payments of services and primary income.
The BSP said that the GIR level is about 5.7 times the country's short-term external debt based on original maturity and 3.9 times based on residual maturity. ■