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Philippine payments position swings to $59M deficit in May
The Philippine balance of payments (BOP) position swung to a deficit in May, on the back of financial exchange operations of the central bank, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) said Monday.
BSP data showed the BOP posted a $59 million deficit last month, reversing a $241 million surplus a year earlier and $917 million last April.
This brought the payments position to a $136-million deficit in the five months to May, compared with a $216 million surplus a year earlier.
The BOP details the country's transactions with the rest of the world during a specific period. A deficit means more funds exited the country.
BSP Deputy Governor Diwa C. Guinigundo said the latest payments position was due to the central bank's foreign exchange (FX) operations.
"Mainly due to FX operations of the BSP and FX payments by NG (national government) on its maturing obligations, even as these were cushioned by FX deposits of the NG and investment income of the BSP from abroad," he said in a text message.
"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.
The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) is scheduled to release next month the trade data for May.
The BSP revised last week its projections for the full-year payments position to a $500 million deficit from an earlier projection of $1 billion surplus, to reflect a widening gap in trade in goods and services.
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