Thanks to robust exports, the nation’s balance of payments recorded a current account surplus of US$28.65 billion last quarter, more than double the level a year earlier, the central bank said yesterday.
“The result fell in line with data from other government agencies, which showed that the COVID-19 pandemic boosted demand for electronic devices used in remote working and schooling,” the central bank said.
Taiwan is a major manufacturer and designer of integrated circuits, as well as other critical components used in smartphones and other tech products.
Exports expanded 6 percent in the third quarter, reversing a decline of 2.4 percent three months earlier, as countries opened up their economies and China’s Huawei Technologies Co (華為) stockpiled electronics supply ahead of US sanctions that took effect on Sept. 15.
As a result, the goods trade surplus soared by US$6.96 billion to US$23.47 billion last quarter, it said.
Meanwhile, the services account posted a surplus of US$1.68 billion, compared with a deficit of US$1.85 billion during the same period last year, mainly because of a shrinking travel deficit, it said.
Travel income and spending stood at US$140 million and US$390 million respectively, allowing the travel deficit to narrow to US$250 million, the smallest since the first quarter of 2016, it said.
Some businesspeople resumed international travel, but a full recovery appears a long shot in light of the spiking number of inflections worldwide, the bank said.
The financial account saw capital outflows for the 41st consecutive quarter, with direct investment registering US$1.5 billion, it said.
That is because outbound direct investment by local residents amounted to US$4.54 billion, while inbound direct investment by foreign investors reached U$3.04 billion, it said.
It is common for countries with current account surpluses to see capital outflows, as financial institutions have to pursue better yields elsewhere since the local market cannot meet their needs, it said.
Capital outflows totaled US$513.48 billion, equivalent to seven years of tax revenues in Taiwan, the bank said.
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