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Sept. export growth to remain at 0% y-o-y: think tank

TAIPEI -- One of Taiwan's leading economic think tanks predicted yesterday that the annual growth rate of exports for September could remain unchanged on the back of China's economic slowdown and the struggles of eurozone economies.

Yen Chen-hui, a strategist at Polaris Research Institute, said the year-on-year export growth rate in September might stay at around zero percent, while imports of capital equipment and agricultural and industrial materials might decline.

The lower demand could offset strong exports brought by China's national holiday week in October and the approaching Christmas shopping season in the United states and Europe, said Yen.

According to the latest data released by the Ministry of Finance, Taiwan's exports fell 4.2 percent in August from the same month of last year to US$24.69 billion, the sixth monthly year-on-year decline.

Despite a surge in exports of petroleum products with the resumption of operations at Formosa Plastics Group factories in Mailiao, Yunlin County — closed since June 2011 due to a series of safety scares — Yen said, shipments of information and communications devices, as well as mechanical and metal products, saw decreases.

The chances of better export figures are expected to be delayed as exports, which accounted for 70 percent of the country's gross domestic product, continue a slow declining trend, said Yen.

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