Taiwan's exports orders decreased for the fifth consecutive month in July, and the rate of fall surpassed economists' forecast, as demand remained weak amid the continuing downturn in the global economy, latest data showed Monday.
Export orders dropped 4.39 percent year-on-year in July, after decreasing 2.62 percent in June, the Ministry of Economic Affairs said. The rate of decline exceeded the 2.98 percent drop economists had forecast.
New orders from mainland China and Hong Kong declined 5.5 percent annually, while demand from Japan dropped 5.4 percent. Orders from Europe were lower by 4.7 percent compared to July 2011, data showed. Demand from the U.S. improved by 1.42 percent.
The main export-reliant countries have cut their growth forecast for the year, as global demand remains weak due to the uncertainty generated by the European sovereign debt crisis.
The Taiwanese government last week lowered its growth forecast for this year after the economy contracted for the first time in more than two years in the second quarter. gross domestic product dropped 0.18 percent year-on-year.
The island economy is now seen growing at a slower rate of 1.66 percent this year than the 2.08 percent gain estimated earlier, and to expand 3.67 percent next year as a possible upturn in global economy may lift exports.
Earlier today, Thailand's government trimmed the growth forecast for the year, citing weaker export outlook, despite the economy logging faster-than-expected growth in the second quarter. The 2012 growth forecast was lowered to 5.5-6 percent from 5.5-6.5 percent. The growth outlook for exports was trimmed sharply to 7.3 percent from 15.1 percent.
Compared to June, demand for Taiwanese goods decreased a seasonally adjusted 1.22 percent. In the January-July period, new export orders declined 1.4 percent from the corresponding period a year earlier.
The country's exports fell at a significantly faster rate of 11.6 percent annually in July than the previous month's 3.2 percent drop, marking the fifth successive decline. Imports, meanwhile, declined at a slower rate of 3.2 percent than 8.4 percent Seen in June.
The weak data also added strength to expectations that the Taiwan central bank is set to leave its interest rate unchanged at 1.875 percent at its next rate-setting session due next month.
The central bank in June kept its benchmark interest rate unchanged and said downside risks to global economic outlook remain high.
by RTT Staff Writer
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