Wed, Jun 25, 2008 - Page 12 News List

Export orders increased 14.5 percent last month

By Jerry Lin  /  STAFF REPORTER

The nation’s export orders grew 14.5 percent year-on-year to US$31.51 billion last month, making it the ninth consecutive month except February that orders exceeded US$30 billion, the Ministry of Economic Affairs said yesterday.

Electronics topped the list of export orders last month, rising 17.9 percent from a year ago to US$7.02 billion, followed by information and communication products.

Chemicals posted the largest increase at 46.84 percent compared with the same month last year, replacing precision instruments, which were affected by the slowdown in export orders for panels in the second quarter, Huang Ji-shih (黃吉實), director of the ministry’s Department of Statistics, said at a press conference.

Export orders in the first five months of the year increased US$20.22 billion, or 15.5 percent year-on-year, to US$151.08 billion, the ministry’s tallies showed.

Meanwhile, the ministry’s recent survey of business confidence showed that Taiwanese companies expecting export orders to drop this month outweighed those expecting orders to increase by 5 percentage points.

Huang said that could be a signal of lower export orders this month compared with last month.

“Nonetheless, based on recent export order tallies of US$30 billion per month, we still expect export orders to US$360 billion this year,” Huang said.

That compares with last year’s US$345.81 billion.

Citibank said that last month’s export order growth was slightly lower than market estimation of 15 percent and the bank’s own forecast of 15.3 percent.

“Citibank estimates that while the nation’s export order amount will continue to increase, the export order growth will begin to decline,” Cheng Cheng-mount (鄭貞茂), vice president and chief economist at Citibank Taiwan, said by telephone yesterday.

“Inflation will continue to affect global economic growth in the second half of this year, which will in turn affect Taiwan’s export order growth. The nation’s export order growth will likely drop from current double digits to a single digit by year-end,” Cheng said.

The ministry also reported that the industrial production index rose 5.3 percent year-on-year last month, with the manufacturing industry climbing 5.9 percent.

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