ASEAN KEY DESTINATIONS
Philippines dollar forecast rises
Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Governor Amando Tetangco Jr. said the country's balance of payments (BOP) surplus is expected to reach $8.2 billion this year, up from an earlier forecast of $3.7 billion, which itself was a revision of the original estimate of $3.2 billion.
For next year, the BSP expects the dollar surplus to reach $1.9 billion.
The BOP registered a surplus of $3.062 billion in September, or 401 percent higher than the $611-million surplus in the same month last year.
This brought the BOP to a cumulative surplus of $6.54 billion in the first nine months of the year, or 48.5 percent higher than the $4.403 billion last year.
The robust external payments position for last month was attributed to the proceeds of the national government's bond issuances and official development assistance loans.
The new BOP forecast assumes the current account position would continue to improve.
The central bank expects transactions in the current account to improve to $8.9 billion this year, up from an earlier assumption of $4.5 billion. The latest current account forecast represents about 4.6 percent of the country's gross domestic product (GDP).
An indicator of economic performance, GDP is the amount of final goods and services produced in the country.
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 first half.
Current account transactions cover trade in goods, services, income and current transfers, of which a portion of remittances is recorded as a sub-account.
Money sent home by overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) rose 9.8 percent to $1.5 billion in August from $1.3 billion last year. This was the highest monthly growth of remittances recorded during the year.
In the first eight months, money sent home by OFWs reached $12.2 billion, or 7.4 percent higher than last year's $11.3 billion.
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