Wed, Sep 12, 2012 - Page 14 News List

Export slump close to bottoming out, Barclays forecasts

Staff writer, with CNA

Taiwan’s exports should rebound in the coming months on the back of new electronics products, Barclays PLC said yesterday, breaking a string of six straight months in which exports have fallen on a year-on-year basis.

“We still expect a modest revival in exports from September or October, as external growth conditions improve with policy easing,” Barclays senior regional economist Leong Wai Ho (梁偉豪) said in a statement.

Unlike conditions following the global financial crisis in late 2008, plant utilization has fallen slightly, but producers are not laying off workers, Leong said.

That reflects an expectation that Asian economic indicators, such as industrial production, the purchasing managers index and export readings would rebound quickly once the fear factor subsides, he said.

“We believe this will occur in September and October, led by the electronics cycle,” Leong said.

There are also some hopeful signs from early indicators of last month’s back-to-school sales in the US, which have been less distressed than Asian manufacturers anticipated, he said.

This is starting to reassure Asian producers about the strength of pre-Christmas holiday demand, he added.

Taiwan’s exports fell 4.2 percent last month from the same month last year to US$24.6 billion, the sixth consecutive year-on-year monthly decline, the Ministry of Finance said on Friday.

The fall was deeper than the 2.5 percent decline forecast by Barclays and the 2.7 percent decline expected by the market in general.

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