MANILA, Feb. 7 (Xinhua) -- Philippine foreign exchange reserves hit a 19-month low of 78.93 billion U.S. dollars in January, the local central bank said Friday.
Data from the Philippine central bank showed that gross international reserves (GIR) level in January was 4.25 billion U.S. dollars lower than the 83.18 billion U.S. dollars posted in December 2013.
Philippine central bank officials said the January GIR is the lowest since June 2012, when the country's foreign exchange reserves reached 76.13 billion U.S. dollars.
The local central bank attributed the decline in GIR to its foreign exchange operations and payments made by the national government for its maturing foreign exchange obligations.
The January GIR is enough to cover 11.3 months' worth of imports of goods and payments of services and income. It is also equivalent to 7.9 times the Philippines' short-term external debt based on original maturity and 5.6 times based on residual maturity.