Wed, Oct 08, 2003 - Page 11 News List

Exports rise 11.6 percent


Exports rose 11.6 percent last month from last year to US$12.56 billion on increased demand from Europe, Southeast Asia, China and South Korea, the Ministry of Finance said yesterday.

The volume was also up marginally compared with US$12.3 billion in August.

But year-on-year export growth last month was slightly weaker than the 13 percent rise posted in August, the ministry said.

"The improving US economy has fueled strong demand for Taiwanese exporters," said Vickie Hsieh, a Taipei-based economist at President Securities Corp.

"The strong export demand will continue throughout this quarter," she said.

Rising exports are helping to spur the economy, which unexpectedly shrank in the second quarter as SARS outbreak curbed consumer spending and investment in the region. Overseas sales account for about half of the nation's GDP.

Exports to China rose to US$2.2 billion last month, while shipments to Hong Kong fell 13 percent to US$2.3 billion.

Exports to the US fell 0.8 percent to US$2.3 billion. Shipments to Japan rose 5 percent to US$969 million and those to Europe increased 13 percent to US$1.7 billion.

Exports of computer chips and other electronics items, which make up the biggest share of the nation's overseas sales, rose 22 percent to US$2.9 billion. Sales of mobile phones and other telecommunications goods fell 11 percent to US$1.2 billion, the ministry said.

The ministry said exports in the fourth quarter to December are expected to rise over 8 percent year-on-year.

Imports rose 4.1 percent year-on-year to US$10.98 billion last month and were up from the US$10.4 billion registered in August, the ministry said.

August imports were up 14.30 percent year-on-year.

The trade surplus for last month rose 125 percent year-on-year to US$1.58 billion, compared with a 6.50 percent rise in August, the ministry said.

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