* Current account outlook revised on narrower trade gap
* Forecasts for 2020 BOP surplus, forex reserves higher
* Cbank warns uncertainty remains over pandemic’s impact (Adds other projections, comments from statement)
MANILA, Oct 14 (Reuters) - The Philippine central bank said on Wednesday it has revised the 2020 balance of payment projections, with the current account now expected to yield a $6 billion surplus, taking into account the gradual recovery of a pandemic-ravaged economy.
The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) revised its current account projection to a surplus equivalent to 1.6% of gross domestic product, from a May forecast of a $1.9 billion deficit, or 0.5% of GDP, to reflect an expected narrower trade gap.
It expects a current account surplus of $3.1 billion for next year, or 0.8% of GDP.
In a statement, the BSP said it now expects a BOP surplus of $8.1 billion this year, or 2.2% of GDP, significantly higher than the May projection of $0.6 billion, or 0.2% of GDP.
It sees a BOP surplus of $3.4 billion, or 0.9% of GDP, for next year.
The Southeast Asian country’s gross international reserves are expected to reach $100 billion by end-2020, higher than the May forecast of $90 billion, and rise to $102 billion next year.
Exports are still projected to contract 16% this year, but will likely recover in 2021 with a 5% growth rate, the BSP said.
However, imports are seen declining 20% this year, steeper than the previous forecast of an 18% drop, before rising 8% next year, it said.
Despite the improved BOP outlook, however, the BSP warned that uncertainty remains over the duration, direction and extent of the pandemic’s impact on the economy.
Reporting by Enrico Dela Cruz and Karen Lema Editing by Ed Davies
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