ASEAN KEY DESTINATIONS
Philippine current account surplus widens
Rosabel Guerrero, director of the Department of Economics Statistics of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), said the current account recorded a surplus of $2.7 billion in the third quarter, or 42.10 percent higher than the $1.9 billion last year. The latest figure is equivalent to 5.9 percent of Philippine gross domestic product (GDP).
GDP is the amount of final goods and services produced in the country.
Current account transactions cover trade in goods, service, income and current transfers, of which a portion of remittances is recorded as a sub-account.
The third-quarter figure led the current account surplus in the first nine months of the year to hit $7 billion, equivalent to 5.2 percent of GDP.
The BSP expects transactions in the current account to improve to $8.9 billion this year, accounting for about 4.6 percent of GDP, up from an earlier assumption of $4.5 billion.
According to monetary officials, the better prospect will get a boost from exports and imports growth amid a higher-than-expected GDP expansion in the third quarter.
The BSP also expects full-year exports to expand by 15 percent from an earlier assumption of 12 percent, while imports will accelerate 20 percent from 18 percent.
Guerrero noted an improvement across all the sub-components of the current account such as merchandise trade, services, income and current transfers in the third quarter.
Merchandise exports rose by 41.3 percent to $14.4 billion from $10.2 billion last year owing to inventory buildup and the recovery of the electronics industry following increased demand from the top export destinations such as Singapore, Japan and China.
Imports of goods inched up 30.1 percent to $15.9 billion from $12.2 billion last year.
Net receipts from trade-in-services reached $88 million or 22.2 percent higher than the $72 million surplus a year ago.
The BSP attributed the growth to higher net receipts in construction, travel, computer and information, among others.
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