Taiwan’s economy last quarter grew 3.33 percent, beating the government forecast of 2.01 percent, as demand for devices used in 5G equipment, as well as work-from-home and remote-learning trends, proved stronger than expected, the Directorate-General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics (DGBAS) said yesterday.
It was the best performance in nine quarters, reversing a downward trend in the second quarter, thanks to robust exports and soft imports that allowed external demand to more than offset languid private consumption, the agency said.
“Strong exports accounted for the economic showing that was better than expected” and might boost full-year growth to 1.9 percent from 1.56 percent in the DGBAS’ last forecast, national income section official Wu Pei-shuan (吳佩璇) told a media briefing in Taipei.
Photo: Clare Cheng, Taipei Times
The agency is to issue its formal update on Nov. 27 after a committee meeting, she said.
Exports of electronic components in the third quarter surged 20.39 percent year-on-year, while shipments of information and communications technology products soared 20.64 percent, Wu said.
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused disruptions at workplaces, schools and recreational facilities around the world, but has created unprecedented demand for tablets, notebook computers, TVs, servers, data centers, and other technology products and solutions necessary to maintain a low-contact economy.
Restrictions imposed by Washington on China’s Huawei Technologies Co (華為) prompted the Shenzhen-based technology titan to stockpile inventory ahead of the Sept. 15 deadline and increased business at its local suppliers.
Against that backdrop, net external demand contributed 3.2 percentage points to third-quarter growth, indicating little help from the domestic front, the report said.
Private investment increased a mild 2.04 percent, while government spending increased 3.2 percent, together adding 0.91 percentage points to the growth, it said.
Government agencies have commissioned public works ahead of schedule to shore up the economy, Wu said.
Consumer spending stayed in negative territory with a 1.51 percent retreat, although a boom in domestic travel significantly eased the drop in the critical GDP component, the report said.
Outbound travel shrank 97.8 percent, similar to a 98.94 percent slump in the second quarter, Wu said.
Domestic airline revenue declined 86.89 percent, while passengers on public transportation shrank 10 percent, it said.
However, retail businesses and restaurants saw a recovery of 4.57 percent and 0.85 percent respectively, partly on the back of the Triple Stimulus Voucher Program, Wu said, but added that this effect was difficult to quantify.
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