Friday, April 07, 2006

Taiwan's growing economy

Taiwan's economic growth is stably increasing. Who is complaining about Taiwan's economy?

Taiwan's Exports Probably Gained 14% in March, Survey Shows

April 7 (Bloomberg) -- Taiwan's exports, which drove a pickup in the economy in the most recent quarter, probably showed little signs of cooling in March, economists said.

Overseas sales probably rose 14 percent from a year earlier, the same pace as in the first two months, according to the median forecast in a Bloomberg News survey of 20 economists. The figures will be released today at 4 p.m. in Taipei.

Booming sales of semiconductors and notebook computers to China and the U.S., Taiwan's biggest markets, has kept the economy humming and the government in February raised its growth forecast for 2006. Exports powered the quickest economic expansion in 18 months in the fourth quarter.

``Demand is strong for notebook computers, cell phones and semiconductors,'' said Forest Chen, chief economist at Taiwan Securities Investment Advisory in Taipei. ``We probably will see double-digit growth in March exports, a pretty good performance considering it is now the weak export season.''

Taiwan's economy grew 6.4 percent in the fourth quarter, accelerating from the previous three months. Companies such as Benq Corp. are among those who've benefited from rising global demand for electronics. Exports account for about half of Taiwan's gross domestic product.

Economists typically combine figures for the first two months to eliminate distortions caused by the Lunar New Year holiday, which fell in January this year and February in 2005.

Taiwan is piggybacking on growing consumer appetite in the U.S., Europe, China and Japan for the electronics it produces.

Booming China

Taoyuan-based Benq expects to more than triple sales of notebook computers this year to as many as 700,000 units, the Commercial Times reported March 30, citing Hung Han-ching, general manager of Benq's information technology division.

Benq aims to sell 300,000 notebook computers in China this year, more than triple last year's number, the Taipei-based paper said. Benq completed the takeover of Siemens AG's unprofitable mobile-phone unit in September.

China expanded 9.9 percent last year, overtaking the U.K. as the world's fourth-largest economy. Rising incomes among the nation's 1.3 billion citizens is spurring demand for Taiwanese electronics.

In the U.S., employers probably added 190,000 workers to their payrolls in March, bringing the number of jobs created last quarter to 603,000, according to a separate Bloomberg survey. An improved job market is pushing U.S. wages higher, bolstering consumer spending and imports. The U.S. is Taiwan's No. 2 export market.

The European Commission on March 3 forecast the economy of the dozen euro nations will grow at the fastest pace since 2000 in the first three quarters of this year.

Taiwan's export orders, indicative of actual shipments in one to three months, rose at the fastest pace in more than a year in February, surging 25 percent from a year earlier.

Taiwan's imports probably climbed 8 percent in March after jumping 47 percent in February, the Bloomberg survey showed. The trade surplus probably rose to $700 million from $603 million in February.

The following table shows economists' forecasts for the percentage changes in Taiwan's exports and imports in March from a year earlier, and for the trade balance.


Blogger Jen said...

Most Taiwanese people who complain only see that the economic growth is slowing down but I wonder do they ever realize that it is actually an uphill climb for Taiwan? We are in a process of transformation and it is only natural that the growth stablizes. Most countries in Western Europe will be thrilled if they have growth like this!

12:11 PM  

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