Export orders grew more than 20 percent for a fifth straight month last month as global demand for the country's liquid-crystal-display panels and semiconductors increased.
Orders, indicative of actual shipments in one to three months, gained 24.22 percent from a year earlier to US$24.59 billion after climbing 25 percent in November, the Ministry of Economic Affairs said in a statement yesterday. Industrial production increased by 9.5 percent, after climbing a revised 9.5 percent in November.
Orders for information and communications products last month grew 38.38 percent from the same month a year before to US$5.34 billion, and electronics products orders rose 30.73 percent to US$5.55 billion, the ministry said.
For last year, export orders totalled US$256.39 billion, up 19.20 percent from the year before, the ministry said.
"Electronics demand has been an important driver for Taiwan's exports," said Robert Subbaraman, senior economist at Lehman Brothers Japan Inc in Tokyo. Strong overseas demand, in particular from Japan and China, will help Taiwan's economy grow by 5 percent this year, he said. The government's statistics bureau on Nov. 17 raised its fourth-quarter economic growth forecast to 5.3 percent from 4.6 percent, citing "robust" overseas sales.
"Export orders are expected to continue growing steadily this year as the international economy remains stable," said Chang Yaw-tzong (
Export orders may grow by 10 percent in the first half of this year, while industrial output may rise 5 percent, he said.
By market, export orders from the US last month amounted to US$6.81 billion, up 16.96 percent year-on-year, it said.
Orders from Hong Kong and China for last month rose 28.00 percent year-on-year to a combined US$5.61 billion, while orders from Japan increased 37.35 percent to US$3.27 billion.
Orders from Europe reached US$4.10 billion, up 29.78 percent from a year earlier, it said.