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Taiwan expected to report 8th straight month of export growth

2018/11/03 19:41

Taipei, Nov. 3 (CNA) The Ministry of Finance (MOF) said Saturday that Taiwan is expected to report a year-on-year increase in exports for an eighth consecutive month in October because of solid global demand for tech gadgets.

The MOF said it expects to report a 4-7 percent year-on-year increase in exports for the month after the more affordable iPhone XR came on the market, which has led to higher shipments from Taiwanese suppliers to Apple Inc.

There were also three more working days in October this year than last year, which should have also boosted exporters' outbound sales, the MOF said.

Taiwan had exports of US$29.62 billion in September, up 2.6 percent from a year earlier. It was the seventh consecutive month and 23rd in 24 months showing year-on-year growth.

The only month in which exports posted a decline during that period was February 2018, when exports slid 1.2 percent from a year earlier because of a reduced number of business days due to a long Lunar New Year holiday.

The MOF is scheduled to release the October trade data on Wednesday.

Yuanta-Polaris Research Institute economist Yen Cheng-hui (顏承暉) agreed with the MOF's forecast, saying October exports are also likely to benefit from a relatively low base of comparison last year.

Yen was more reserved about the prospects for Taiwan's exports down the road, however, warning that trade friction between the United States and China has led to a slowdown in many major economies such as the U.S., European Union and China.

The Nikkei-Markit Taiwan Manufacturing PMI fell to 48.7 in October from 50.8 in September, the first drop in more than two years.

Yen said the weakening manufacturing activity in Taiwan bodes ill for the future outbound sales.

The Chung-Hua Institution for Economic Research, one of the leading think tanks in Taiwan, is scheduled to release its own version of Taiwan's October PMI on Monday.

(By Chu Tse-wei and Frances Huang)Enditem/ls