BOP surplus at $2-B in Jan, more than double year-ago level

Posted at 02/19/13 3:20 PM

MANILA - The country's balance of payments (BOP) surplus amounted to $2.043 billion in January, up by 136% from $864 million a year ago.

The Philippine central bank expects this year's balance of payments surplus to narrow to $3 billion from $9.2 billion in 2012, as it expects strong demand to fuel an increase in imports.

The Philippines ended 2012 with foreign reserves of $83.8 billion, slightly higher than its forecast of $83 billion. The central bank expects the country's reserves to climb to $86 billion at the end of 2013.

Strong capital inflows have driven gains of around 13 percent in the stock market this year, making it Asia's second best performing bourse after Vietnam. The peso has strengthened a little over 1 percent against the dollar this year after surging nearly 7 percent in 2012.

The central bank expects cash remittances from overseas Filipinos to grow 5 percent this year. Cash remittances in 2012 reached $21.39 billon, up 6.3 percent from a year earlier.