Philippine Peso (PHP)

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The chart at left shows the USD/PHP currency pair; the number of Philippine Peso equivalent to 1 U.S. Dollar (USD).

The Philippine Peso can be considered a highly volatile currency. Since the beginning of the global crisis in 2008, it has lost 40% of its value, compared to its highest level. In 2009 it has regained some value in the context of improving economic conditions.

The PHP is under the pressure of recurring trade deficit that the Philippines has recorded for years. As of end 2009, the central bank (Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, BSP) estimated a Goods and Services Trade Deficit of $7.4 billion.

However, remittances from Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) allow the Balance of Payments to remain positive and provide the BSP with high levels of foreign reserves. Indeed, while FDI and capital inflows can be very volatile, remittances have proven their regularity and steadily increased year after year. In 2009, the BSP estimates that OFWs remitted over $16.6 billion during the year. This allowed the BSP to accumulate over $35 billion in foreign reserves, which covers 8 months of imports.

The BSP has stated that variations of the PHP weren't a major concern and given the level of its reserves, it has plenty room to protect its currency if the need arises.

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