Taiwanese spent far more on overseas travel than foreign nationals spent on travel in Taiwan in the first quarter of this year, the fifth consecutive quarter in which the nation ran a travel deficit.
The nation’s travel revenue totaled US$2.94 billion in the first quarter, while overseas travel expenses totaled US$4.26 billion, resulting in a deficit of US$1.32 billion, according to balance of payment statistics released by the central bank on Friday.
It was the second-highest quarterly deficit in the past seven years, which saw soaring numbers of foreign visitors, behind only the US$1.63 billion deficit in the third quarter of last year.
The nation ran yearly travel surpluses from 2011 to 2014 before running a deficit of US$1.12 billion in 2015.
The continuing decline in the number of visitors from China is the main reason for the latest deficit, the central bank said.
Another factor was an increase in the number of Taiwanese traveling abroad, encouraged by the New Taiwan dollar’s appreciation during the quarter, it added.
Because of the deficit, the overall balance of services in the current account ran a deficit of US$2.68 billion, according to the central bank.
In related news, the nation in the first quarter saw the 27th consecutive quarter of net capital outflows, the central bank said.
Taiwanese invested US$2.64 billion abroad while foreign investors injected US$930 million into the economy during the period, central bank figures showed.
Meanwile, Taiwanese investment in foreign bonds in the first quarter posted a net increase of US$34.17 billion, the highest of any quarter on record, because of a surge in purchases of foreign bonds by local life insurance companies.
The current account registered a surplus of US$16.39 billion in the first quarter, down 16.3 percent, or US$3.19 billion, from a year earlier, because of a smaller surplus of trade in goods and bigger deficit of trade in services, central bank figures showed.
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