MANILA, Philippines - The Philippines' balance of payments (BOP) deficit widened to $209 million in March, versus a surplus of $2.02 billion a year ago. March's BOP deficit was the widest since March 2009.
Data from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas showed the January to March BOP surplus at $1.24 billion.
In February, the BOP surplus stood at $588 million, while in January, the BOP surplus was at $864 million.
The BSP is targeting a BOP surplus of $2.8 billion, or 1.1% of GDP, this year, sharply lower
than the $10.18 billion surplus in 2011.
The central bank expects remittances to grow 5% this year, slower than last year's 7.2% growth.
The country's 2011 BOP surplus was higher than the BSP forecast but below the record $14.3 billion surplus in 2010, boosted by strong portfolio inflows.