Taiwan December Exports Rise More Than Estimated on China Demand

Taiwan’s exports increased more than economists estimated in December, signaling the island’s recovery is gathering pace amid stronger demand from China.

Shipments abroad rose 9 percent from a year earlier, after gaining a previously reported 0.9 percent in November, the Ministry of Finance said in Taipei today. The median of 19 estimates in a Bloomberg News survey was 4.5 percent.

The central bank held interest rates for a sixth meeting last month as the outlook for exports brightened. Manufacturing in China, Taiwan’s biggest trading partner, expanded at the fastest pace in 19 months in December, while U.K. factory activity unexpectedly expanded at the fastest pace in 15 months.

“Stronger data coming out of the mainland ahead of Chinese New Year should benefit exports,” Tony Phoo, a Taipei-based economist at Standard Chartered Plc, said before the report, referring to the Lunar New Year on Feb. 10. “Exports should remain in positive growth territory at least for the first quarter of this year.”

The Taiwan dollar was little changed at NT$29.006 against its U.S. counterpart as of 4:01 p.m. in Taipei. It gained about 4 percent last year, the fourth-best performer among 11 widely-traded Asian currencies tracked by Bloomberg.

Imports gained 1.6 percent from a year earlier, for a trade surplus of $4.13 billion in December, today’s report showed.

Exports of electronics products rose 6 percent last month from a year earlier. Shipments to China climbed 12.6 percent, while those to Europe advanced 11 percent.

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