MANILA - The Philippines' gross international reserves (GIR) dipped to $107.25 billion at the end of May as the country posted a balance of payments (BOP) deficit last month, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas said on Wednesday.
The BSP said the country posted a deficit of $1.4 billion in May 2021, a reversal from the $2.43 billion BOP surplus recorded in the same month last year.
For the January-May period, the country booked a deficit of $1.63 billion, a reversal of the $4.03 billion surplus recorded in the same period a year ago.
"Based on preliminary data, this cumulative BOP deficit was partly attributed to wider merchandise trade deficit and net outflows of foreign portfolio investments," the BSP said.
The BOP position reflects a decrease in the GIR level to $107.25 billion as of end-May from $107.71 billion as of end-April, and from $110.12 billion at the beginning of the year.
The central bank said the latest GIR level represents a more than adequate external liquidity buffer equivalent to 12.2 months’ worth of imports of goods and payments of services and primary income. It is also about 7.9 times the country’s short-term external debt based on original maturity and 5.2 times based on residual maturity.