Manila, Philippines – The Philippines' gross international reserves (GIR) have rebounded to the USD100-billion mark as of the end of October 2023, reflecting the country's strong balance of payments (BOP) performance for the month. This recovery signifies an adequate external liquidity buffer, essential for the stability of the nation's economy.
According to Philippines News Agency, The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) reported that the country's foreign reserves rose to USD101 billion at the end of October 2023, ensuring an external liquidity buffer equivalent to 7.5 months' worth of imports of goods and payments of services and primary income. This increase marks a significant improvement from the USD98.1 billion recorded at the end of September 2023 and brings the GIR level back above the USD100 billion threshold, which had fallen below since July this year.
The boost in foreign reserves was primarily attributed to the country's BOP position in October 2023, which posted a surplus of USD1.5 billion. This figure is significantly higher than the USD711 million surplus recorded in October 2022. The central bank identified the sources of these inflows as mainly arising from the national government's net foreign currency deposits with the BSP, the BSP's net foreign exchange operations, and net income from its investments abroad.
Year-to-date, the BOP surplus has reached USD3.2 billion, reversing the USD7.1-billion deficit recorded from January to October 2022. This positive development is largely due to an improvement in the balance of trade, alongside higher net inflows from personal remittances, trade in services, and foreign borrowings by the national government, with additional contributions from foreign direct investments.