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Taiwan exports grow again after six monthly declines

Taiwan's export orders returned to growth in September, ending sixth straight monthly declines, the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) announced yesterday.

Export orders stood at US$37.66 billion last month, up 1.9 percent from the same month last year and up 3.9 percent from August, the ministry said. The ministry said that orders in October were flat or slightly higher from the same month a year earlier.

The data is an indication of the strength of Asia's export sector and of the increasing global demand for smartphones and tablets, it said.

The MOEA said positives for the fourth quarter include the debut of new tech products, although Europe's financial woes will continue to have an influence.

Orders for information and communications technology products stood at US$9.51 billion in September, a huge 11.2-percent increase from the same period last year, due to the upcoming launch of Windows 8.

Orders for electronics stood at US$8.85 billion, a rise of 2.2 percent compared to August 2011, on rising demand for mobile phone chips in emerging markets.

Orders for precision instruments totaled US$3.55 billion, a 5.4-percent rise compared to August, due to stronger demand for televisions in the Chinese market during October's national Golden Week holiday.

Orders from three major markets — China, Europe and the United States — experienced positive growth in September, the MOFA said.

Positive Sign but No Guarantee of Revival: Expert

The September export orders rise is the first positive growth the local market has seen since March this year, and it is a good sign indicating demand for Asian exports and for high-tech gadgets, the MOEA said.

One expert, however, said that the export-orders increase is a positive indication but it is still too early to give a positive economic outlook for the nation in the upcoming year.

The ongoing debt crisis in Europe and the financial woes in the U.S., both major markets for Taiwanese exports, will still be the deciding factors in the year ahead, said Sun Ming-teh, forecaster with the Taiwan Institute for Economic Research.

Beijing is set to soon announce its new leader, who is expected to launch concrete policies to boost China's economy, which will benefit Taiwan's market as well, he added.

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