June balance of payments surplus at $502-M

Posted at 07/19/10 3:34 PM

MANILA, Philippines - The country posted a balance of payments (BOP) surplus of $502 million in June, bringing the surplus to $3.235 billion in the first half of the year, data released on Monday by the central bank showed.

June's BOP surplus was a hefty rise from the surplus of $73 million a year ago.

The central bank said the country's BOP position, which measures the difference between the amount of foreign exchange coming into and going out of the country, should be at $3.7 billion, higher from its previous forecast of $3.2 billion.

In 2009, the country posted a BOP surplus of $5.3 billion, the highest in two years.

The central bank expects a current account surplus of $8.1 billion this year, slightly lower from $8.6 billion in 2009.

The resiliency of the country's external position is due to the steady rise in exports, and from remittances of Filipinos working abroad.

Earlier, the central bank raised its forecast for growth in remittances in 2010 to 8% from initial estimate of 6% growth.

Exports this year are estimated to climb 15%, up from an earlier forecast of 12% growth, and imports are expected to expand 20% against a previous estimate of an 18% rise.

The total value of Philippine exports rose to $4.24 billion in May, the highest since Sept. 2008, with the United States as the top export destination.

The central bank has raised its forecast for year-end foreign exchange reserves to $50 billion from $49 billion. - with a report from Reuters