Preliminary data shows that the country's gross international reserves (GIR) rose to US$82.9 billion as of end-February 2019 from US$82.49 billion as of end-January 2019.1 This rise in the GIR level was due mainly to inflows arising from the BSP's foreign exchange operations, net foreign currency deposits by the National Government (NG), and the BSP's income from its investments abroad. However, the increase in reserves was partially tempered by payments made by the NG for servicing its foreign exchange obligations as well as revaluation losses from the BSP's gold holdings, resulting from the decrease in the price of gold in the international market.

The end-February 2019 level of GIR serves as an ample external liquidity buffer and is equivalent to 7.3 months' worth of imports of goods and payments of services and primary income. It is also equivalent to 6.3 times the country's short-term external debt based on original maturity and 4.1 times based on residual maturity.2

Net international reserves (NIR), which refer to the difference between the BSP's GIR and total short-term liabilities, likewise increased by US$0.41 billion to US$82.89 billion as of end-February 2019 from the end-January 2019 level of US$82.48 billion.

Source: Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP)