Preliminary data showed that the country’s gross international reserves (GIR) level as of end-September 2018 was lower at $75.16 billion from the end-August 2018 GIR of $77.93 billion, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Officer-in-Charge Diwa C. Guinigundo announced today.
At this level, the GIR nonetheless continues to serve as an ample external liquidity buffer and is equivalent to 6.8 months’ worth of imports of goods and payments of services and primary income. It is also equivalent to 5.9 times the country’s short-term external debt based on original maturity and 4.2 times based on residual maturity.
The month-on-month decline in the GIR level was due mainly to outflows arising from the foreign exchange operations of the BSP, payments made by the National Government (NG) for its maturing foreign exchange obligations, and revaluation adjustments on the BSP’s gold holdings resulting from the decrease in the price of gold in the international market. However, the decline in the GIR level was partially tempered by the NG’s net foreign currency deposits.
Net international reserves (NIR), which refer to the difference between the BSP’s GIR and total short-term liabilities, likewise decreased by $2.77 billion to $75.15 billion as of end-September 2018, from the end-August 2018 level of $77.92 billion.