Mon, Mar 17, 2014 - Page 13 News List

Export orders may see year-on-year expansion

Staff writer, with CNA

Taiwan’s export orders for last month are expected to post an increase from a year earlier, reversing a year-on-year decline seen in January, largely due to a low comparison base over the same period last year, the Ministry of Economic Affairs said on Saturday.

The ministry said the low comparison base resulted from the reduced number of working days in February last year, when the Lunar New Year holiday was celebrated from Feb. 9 to Feb. 17.

Citing a recent survey targeting local exporters, the ministry said that export orders made last month could reach US$30 billion, compared with US$29.04 billion recorded a year earlier.

In January, Taiwan’s export orders fell 2.8 percent year-on-year to US$36.11 billion, ending a six-month period of positive growth, with orders placed by China and Hong Kong down 3.9 percent and orders from the US down 5 percent from a year earlier.

On a month-on-month basis, according to the survey, 19.1 percent of the respondents said their orders last month would rise from January, while 30.3 percent thought their orders would fall, and 50.6 percent said their orders would stay little changed from a month earlier.

Although many economists at home and abroad expect that global economic fundamentals will improve this year as growth accelerates in the US and Europe, the ministry said that due to an unusually cold winter, a driver of growth has been compromised to some extent, hurting Taiwan’s exports.

In addition, China is undergoing economic restructuring, which has cut demand, and this in turn could further impact local exporters, the ministry said.

In the middle of last month, the Directorate-General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics increased its prediction of the nation’s economic growth this year to 2.82 percent, from an earlier estimate of a 2.59 percent growth, citing an improvement in the nation’s exports and private consumption.

Last year, Taiwan’s economic growth stood at 2.11 percent.

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