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Taiwan Leaps Past Tigers as Economy Upgrades With IPhone

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Taiwan is poised to race ahead of its fellow Asian tigers for the fourth straight quarter, as consumers loosen purse strings and companies churn out new iPhones.

The island is forecast to report first-quarter economic growth of 3.5 percent on Thursday, according to the median estimate of economists surveyed by Bloomberg News, at least 1 percentage point more than South Korea and Singapore and the projection for Hong Kong. Such outperformance has driven the currency to the top of Asia this year and the benchmark equity index to about 10,000 for the first time in 15 years.