Philippine cbank tempers outlook, cuts 2021 c/a surplus forecast

18-Sep-2021 Intellasia | Reuters | 5:02 AM Print This Post

The Philippine central bank on Friday revised its current account surplus projection for this year to $3.5 billion, or 0.9 percent of the gross domestic product, down substantially from a June forecast of $10 billion, or 2.5 percent of GDP.

It now projects next year’s current account to switch to a deficit of $1.4 billion, or 0.3 percent of GDP, instead of the previous forecast of a $6.7 billion surplus equivalent to 1.5 percent of GDP, figures presented at a media briefing showed.

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) said the latest projections took into account “downside risks” that continue to build up, underpinned by the emergence of highly transmissible COVID-19 variants.

“The lingering uncertainty continues to cast a shadow on external sector prospects over the near term as the direction and duration of the pandemic remains little known,” it said in a statement.

The balance of payments this year is now projected to yield a surplus of $4.1 billion, or 1.1 percent of GDP, down from the previous forecast of a $7.1 billion surplus, or 1.8 percent of GDP.

For 2022, the BOP surplus is seen narrowing to $1.7 billion, or 0.4 percent of GDP, lower than the previous forecast of $2.7 billion, or 0.6 percent of GDP.

The BSP also lowered its projections for end-2021 and end-2022 gross international reserves to $114 billion and $115 billion, from $115 billion and $117 billion, respectively.

The revisions reflect the BSP’s “more guarded” outlook for the global economy and developments at home, including the downscaling of this year’s GDP growth target here, said Zeno Ronald Abenoja, managing director at the central bank’ Department of Economic Research.


Category: Philippines

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