MANILA, March 16 (Xinhua) -- The Philippines' balance of payments (BOP) position for full-year 2018 posted a deficit of 2.3 billion U.S. dollars, "significantly higher" than the 863 million U.S. dollars deficit recorded a year ago, the Philippine central bank has said.
"This development was brought about by the rise in the current account deficit as the trade-in-goods deficit continued to widen," the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) said in its statistics on Friday.
The BSP said the current account yielded a deficit of 7.9 billion U.S. dollars or 2.4 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) in 2018, higher than the 2.1 billion U.S. dollars deficit (0.7 percent of GDP) registered in 2017.
This developed as the widening deficit in the trade-in-goods account more than offset the higher net receipts posted in the trade-in-services, and primary and secondary income accounts, the BSP said.
The BSP said the trade-in-goods deficit for full-year 2018 rose by 21.9 percent to 49 billion U.S. dollars, reflective of the 9.4 percent expansion in imports of goods and the 0.3 percent decline in exports of goods.
Exports of goods dropped to 51.7 billion U.S. dollars in 2018 from 51.8 billion U.S. dollars in the previous year owing mainly to lower export shipments of coconut and mineral products, the BSP said.
The BSP said imports of goods expanded to 100.7 billion U.S. dollars in 2018 from 92 billion U.S. dollars in 2017.
The BSP said the 9.4 percent increase was attributed to higher imports across all major commodity groups, notably raw materials and intermediate goods, indicating increased domestic production activity.