The country’s gross international reserves (GIR) level, based on preliminary data, settled at US$99 billion as of end-August 2022 from the end-July 2022 GIR level of US$99.8 billion.[1]

The latest GIR level represents a more than adequate external liquidity buffer equivalent to 8.3 months’ worth of imports of goods and payments of services and primary income.[2]

Moreover, it is also about 7.1 times the country’s short-term external debt based on original maturity and 4.6 times based on residual maturity.[3][4]

The month-on-month decrease in the GIR level reflected mainly the National Government’s (NG) foreign currency withdrawals from its deposits with the BSP to settle its foreign currency debt obligations and pay for its various expenditures, and the downward adjustment in the value of the BSP’s gold holdings due to the decrease in the price of gold in the international market.

Similarly, the net international reserves (NIR), which refers to the difference between the BSP’s reserve assets (GIR) and reserve liabilities (short-term foreign debt and credit and loans from the International Monetary Fund), decreased by US$0.8 billion to US$99 billion as of end-August 2022 from the end-July 2022 level of US$99.8 billion.

[1]  The BSP’s reserve assets consist of foreign investments, gold, foreign exchange, reserve position in the IMF, and special drawing rights.

[2]  By convention, GIR is viewed to be adequate if it can finance at least three-months’ worth of the country’s imports of goods and payments of services and primary income.

[3]  Short-term debt based on residual maturity refers to outstanding external debt with original maturity of one year or less, plus principal payments on medium- and long-term loans of the public and private sectors falling due within the next 12 months.

[4]   The level of GIR, as of a particular period, is considered adequate, if it provides at least 100 percent cover for the payment        of the country’s foreign liabilities, public and private, falling due within the immediate twelve-month period.