BOP swings to surplus in May
The government expects the surplus to be affected by the euro zone crisis and slowing US growth

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines recorded a balance of payments (BOP) surplus of $138 million in May, reversing its $79 million deficit in April, data from the central bank showed on Tuesday, June 19.

The May surplus however was down 36% from the $217 million booked in the same month last year.

In the first 5 months, the surplus stood at $1.302 billion, nearly 73% lower than the $4.794 billion recorded in the same period of 2011.

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas on Monday, June 18, lowered its 2012 BOP forecast to a surplus of $2.6 billion, citing the anticipated slowdown in inflow of funds due to the euro zone crisis and slowing growth in the US.

BOP represents the country’s commercial transactions with the rest of the world, with a surplus indicating more foreign exchange inflows than outflows.

Foreign exchange reserves or gross international reserves (GIR) serve as buffer funds against any financial shock. The GIR is what the country uses to pay for its most immediate obligations: imports and debts. –