Philippines Poised to Ride Recovery in Global Trade, Says Bangko Sentral

Understanding the current account surplus.
Photo/s: Eloisa Lopez, Reuters

The Philippines is expected to post bigger current account surpluses for this year and 2022, the central bank said on Friday, due to better prospects for trade in goods and services as the global economy recovers from the pandemic shock.

The central bank raised its 2021 projection for the current account surplus to $10 billion, or 2.5% of gross domestic product (GDP), from its previous forecast of $9.1 billion, or 2.3% of GDP.

For next year, the current account surplus was expected to reach $6.7 billion, or 1.5% of GDP, also wider than the earlier estimate of $5.2 billion, or 1.2% of GDP, central bank managing director Zeno Abenoja told a news conference.

A current account surplus means the value of goods that a country exports or sells abroad is higher than its imports or what it buys from overseas.

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An improving global economy should drive 10% growth in exports of goods this year, higher than the central bank's 8% estimate in March, and then 6.0% growth next year, Abenoja said.

The central bank predicted that imports of goods this year and next year would grow 12% and 10%, respectively, as domestic demand recovers in line with a gradual reopening of the economy, which should allow for more business activity.

This year's balance of payment surplus was forecast to reach $7.1 billion, up from the projected $6.2 billion in March, before narrowing to $2.7 billion next year.

The central bank's also raised its estimate for foreign exchange reserves this year to $115 billion from $114 billion.

-- with assistance from reportr.

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