Thu, Apr 23, 2009 - Page 12 News List

Domestic trade fell 12.22% year-on-year

By Elizabeth Tchii  /  STAFF REPORTER

Taiwan’s domestic trade — including the retail, wholesale and restaurant sectors — rose 7.4 percent last month from the previous month, while dropping 12.22 percent year-on-year to NT$972.4 billion (US$28.76 billion), the Ministry of Economic Affairs said yesterday.

Citing the global recession, the ministry said the wholesale sector had experienced the steepest year-on-year decline at 14.96 percent to NT$695.7 billion, followed by a decline of 4.65 percent in the retail sector to NT$250.1 billion and a drop of 2.81 percent in the restaurant sector at NT$26.6 billion.

Economists do not expect a rebound in domestic trade until external demand picks up, which is unlikely to take place until later this year. The export sector is the main driver of the domestic economy and the sharp drops in shipments abroad has reduced both retail sales and wholesale trade.

“Domestic trade in Taiwan remains subdued as activity in the domestic economy is low,” Tine Olsen, a Sydney-based economist at Moody’s, wrote in a statement yesterday.

“The economic climate in Taiwan remains cloudy as activity is well below the levels of mid-2008. However, if exports continue to improve, [Taiwan] could find itself rebounding in coming months,” she said.

Accumulated domestic trade for the first three months dropped 13.47 percent from same period last year.

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