Taipei, Dec. 7 (CNA) Taiwan is forecast to report a year-on-year increase in exports for November, stopping a two-month losing streak, on the back of rising demand ahead of the upcoming Lunar New Year holiday, an economist said Saturday.
Lai Yi-hsin (賴怡欣), a senior research fellow at the Yuanta-Polaris Research Institute, said the think tank took into account the peak season effects of the fourth quarter of the year.
In addition, an increase in the number of working days in November compared with the same period last year will boost the export data, Lai said.
According to the Yuanta-Polaris's forecast, Taiwan's exports in November will show a 1.7 percent year-on-year growth, reversing the 1.5 percent decline in October and 4.6 percent drop in September.
In October, Taiwan's exports totaled US$28.99 billion, down from US$28.10 billion in September, with the old economy sector suffering the most, as raw material prices fell amid weakening demand due to the global trade tensions.
The Ministry of Finance (MOF) is scheduled to report the November trade data on Dec. 9.
Meanwhile, Lai said, with the next Lunar New Year holiday falling in January instead of February, foreign buyers placed their orders to Taiwanese suppliers early, which boosted exports in November.
In a similar growth forecast, Yuanta Investment Consulting Co. said Taiwan's exports for November will show a 1.2 percent increase from a year earlier, but DBS Bank of Singapore projected a 2.2 percent decline amid the global trade disputes.
Lai said her optimistic forecast was based on an improvement in manufacturing activity in November, when the Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) rose 3.8 points from a month earlier to 54.9, the highest level since July 2018.
In November, the economist said, the sub-index for new export orders rose to 50.3 from 47.2 in October, marking the first expansion since May and signaling a positive lead for outbound sales.
While exporters in the local old economy sector felt the pinch from falling agricultural and industrial raw material prices, the high tech sector had a better performance on the back of the peak season effects, which lent support to Taiwan's overall exports, she said.
The MOF has forecast Taiwan's exports for November will show growth of between 1.5 percent and 2.5 percent from a year earlier.