Tue, Nov 09, 2004 - Page 10 News List

October exports expand 17.5 percent

STAFF WRITER , WITH BLOOMBERG

Exports increased 17.5 percent last month from a year ago to US$15.39 billion, the second-highest level on record, the Ministry of Finance reported yesterday. A record was set in May this year, at US$15.71 billion.

Imports last month also grew 38.1 percent year-on-year to US$15.05 billion, a record high, leaving a trade surplus of US$341.2 million, the ministry said.

For the 10 months to October, the nation's exports were up 23.5 percent to US$143.67 billion and imports rose 34.7 percent to US$136.95 billion, according to the ministry. The pace of export growth may slow to about 15 percent this month, Hsu Kuo-chung (許國忠), the ministry's statistics department chief, said at a press conference yesterday.

Renee Chen, an economist at Citibank Taiwan, said the nation's export growth may dip below 10 percent in the fourth quarter because of high comparative figures for last year and slowing retail sales in the US and Europe.

The government forecast in August that the nation's exports and imports may see growth rates slow to 17.6 percent and 24 percent in the second half of the year, respectively, because of high oil prices, interest rate increases in the US and lending restrictions in China.

Exports to China and Hong Kong rose 18 percent to US$5.6 billion last month. Shipments to the US increased 9.6 percent from a year earlier to US$2.47 billion, the ministry said.

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