Taiwan’s exports unexpectedly grew in September for the first time in more than a year, adding to signs that global trade is recovering.
(Bloomberg) — Taiwan’s exports unexpectedly grew in September for the first time in more than a year, adding to signs that global trade is recovering.
Overseas shipments rose 3.4% year on year to $38.8 billion last month, according to a statement from the Finance Ministry in Taipei on Wednesday. That compared with the median estimate for a 2.5% decline in a Bloomberg survey of economists. It was the first increase since August 2022.
The better-than-expect figure drove Taiwan’s trade surplus to a record $10.3 billion. Imports shrank 12.2% to $28.5 billion, compared to economist expectations for a 13.8% decline.
“The recovery was driven by both tech exports and non-tech exports, which suggest signs of improvement in the global goods recovery momentum, echoing what we see with recent Asia trade data and recovering manufacturing PMIs in major economies,” said Michelle Lam, an economist at Societe Generale SA. “It is fair to say that we have probably seen the worst in cycle.”
The Finance Ministry credited strong demand for artificial intelligence-related technologies for the rebound. Shipments of information, communication and audio-video products rose just shy of 60% versus a year ago to $8.3 billion, the second highest amount on record.
Another reason for the strong numbers was stabilizing exports of semiconductors, which contracted 2.6%, the smallest decline this year.
While finance officials had predicted exports to recover before the end of the year, the return to growth came earlier than expected. The ministry’s chief statistician said last month that the turning point was likely to come in November.
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