The latest export order data showed the nation’s robust external trade is being driven by strong demand for Apple Inc’s new iPhones, but market watchers have expressed concerns that the growth momentum for next year might lose steam after the demand for iPhones dies down.
“Despite the steadfast momentum this quarter, we believe export order growth may disappoint in 2015, when the positive cycle brought by iPhones dissipates, unless the global economy grows at a stronger-than-expected rate to continue driving the demand for exports,” Credit Suisse AG said in a client note yesterday.
JPMorgan Securities Ltd also said in a note that as its global research team revised downward its forecast for global growth for the first quarter next year, due to growing concerns over the eurozone and other emerging markets, the firm expects more uncertainty for Taiwan’s export orders outlook next year.
Their comments came after the Ministry of Economic Affairs on Thursday released the latest export order data, showing that orders hit a record-level of US$44.91 billion last month, up 13.4 percent from a year earlier and 3.7 percent from the previous month.
The diffusion index compiled by the ministry stood at 53.1 last month — a reading of above 50 indicates an expected increase in export orders — and Credit Suisse said export order growth for this month could remain at a double-digit level.
Credit Suisse’s forecast echoed the ministry’s prediction, which suggested a monthly double-digit growth of export orders would continue in the next two months.
Cumulative orders for the first 10 months of the year totaled US$385.07 billion, the ministry’s data showed.
On Thursday, the ministry forecast that orders for the whole of this year would likely reach US$480 billion, an increase of 8.4 percent from last year’s US$442.9 billion.
Credit Suisse said it maintained its GDP growth forecast of 3.6 percent for this year, although it was cautious regarding next year’s growth outlook, saying GDP growth would stay flat at 3.5 percent.
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