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BSP hikes BOP surplus forecast

Expectations for an economic recovery, buoyed by optimism on the Philippines’ coronavirus disease 2019 vaccination program, made monetary authorities revise further the balance of payment (BOP) surplus projection this year.

As of the first quarter of this year, BSP’s BOP surplus projection for this year amounts to USD6.2 billion, higher than the USD3.3-billion surplus projection last December but lower than the USD16-billion surplus in end-December 2020.

“This is consistent with the expected higher current account surplus and lower anticipated outflows in the financial account,” BSP Department of Economic Research managing director Zeno Ronald Abenoja said during a virtual briefing.

BOP is a measure of a country’s total monetary transactions with the rest of the world in a certain period.

BSP’s latest current account forecast is USD9.1 billion, higher than the USD6.1 percent in December.

Last year, the CA posted a USD13-billion surplus, the highest since 2013 according to monetary authorities.

Abenoja attributed the upward revision in the CA projection to a broad-based recovery in exports and imports.

To date, goods exports are expected to grow by 8 percent, higher than the 5-percent forecast earlier.

Goods imports growth projection was revised to 12 percent from 8 percent last December.

On the other hand, the financial account is projected to post a lower surplus of USD4 billion from USD4.4 billion last December. The end-2020 figure was a deficit of USD5.8 billion.

The remittance growth forecast was kept at 4 percent for this year but gross international reserves projection was hiked to USD114 billion from USD106 billion earlier.

For 2022, BOP is seen to post a lower surplus of USD3.8 billion, the current account at USD5.2 billion surplus; and the financial account, USD2.5-billion surplus.

Exports are expected to also post a lower growth of 6 percent and imports by 10 percent.*PNA

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