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10% Sept. jump ends Taiwan's export slump

Taiwan's exports rose 10 percent from a year earlier in September to US$27.17 billion, ending a streak of six consecutive monthly declines, the Ministry of Finance reported Monday.

The figure represents a 14-month high in monthly growth while annual increase hits 10.4 percent, according to ministry statistics.

Taiwan's imports last month totaled US$23.09 billion, an 8-percent monthly increase, leaving the country with a surplus of US$4.08 billion β€” a 125.4-percent growth year-on-year.

Exports during the January-September period totaled US$223.56 billion, down 3.9 percent from the same period last year.

Imports during the nine-month period amounted to US$203.99 billion, a 5-percent fall on an annual basis, leaving the country with a surplus of US$19.57 billion for the period, ministry tallies show.

Pre-Christmas buying has turned around the slackening demand for the island's high-tech and other goods.

The Finance Ministry said that Southeast Asia has shown its economic strength by buying US$5.4 billion worth of Taiwanese goods in the month, up 41 percent from a year earlier. Exports to China rose 6 percent.

Imports totaled US$23 billion in the month, up 1.3 percent.

For the first nine months, Taiwanese exports fell 3.9 percent from a year earlier to US$224 billion.

Exports have been hurt partially by HTC Corp.

Taiwan's largest smartphone maker said yesterday that its July-September revenue totaled US$2.4 billion, down 40 percent from the same quarter last year.

Gordon Sun, an economist at the Taipei-based Taiwan Institute of Economic Research, attributed the positive growth in September mainly to a low base of comparison in September 2011, when the global economy began a downturn.

β€œIt is still hard to tell (if the economy will pick up), given that there is only one month of positive data,” Sun cautioned.

A clearer picture will be available after the government releases data later in the month on the value of export orders received by Taiwanese companies in September, he said.

The export-order figures indicate potential export shipments over the next one to three months, he said.

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 Local bourse decreases nearly 1% on total turnover of NT$63.85 bil. 
This general view photo shows cargo containers piled up at Taiwan's northern Taipei Port, south of the Tamsui River in New Taipei's Bali District, yesterday. The government yesterday reported that exports rose in September from a year earlier, breaking a six-month string of declines as a surge in shipments to China and the rest of Asia offset a slump in Europe-bound goods. (AFP)

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