Taiwan's export orders grew last month at their fastest pace in five months, beating economists' forecasts, as Asia's SARS epidemic abated, triggering consumer- spending revivals in key export markets around the region.
Orders -- indicative of actual shipments in one to three months -- rose 12 percent from a year earlier to US$13.8 billion, the Ministry of Economic Affairs said in a statement in Taipei.
"We are seeing signs of a recovery in the personal computer business," said Frank Huang (黃崇仁), chairman of Powerchip Semiconductor Corp (力晶半導體), Taiwan's third-largest maker of computer memory chips. "We are getting more orders from motherboard makers."
As overseas orders recover, Taiwan's factories are churning out more notebook computers and mobile phones. Industrial production rose 2.1 percent last month -- the first increase in three months -- after falling a revised 3.4 percent in May, the statement said.
Orders from Hong Kong rose 14 percent to US$3.2 billion last month, today's statement showed.