Taiwan's exports rose in January

Taipei, Feb. 7 (CNA) Taiwan's exports grew by 21.8 percent in January compared to the previous year, reaching US$25.67 billion last month, but the seasonally adjusted growth rate was at a much lower 5.2 percent, since the last Lunar New Year holiday, when most companies suspended business, fell in January of 2012, according to statistics released by the Ministry of Finance Thursday. At the same time, the island's imports stood at US$25.2 billion, representing an annual growth rate of 22.3 percent, and a monthly growth of 14.7 percent. Subtracting the imports from the exports, Taiwan, in January, enjoyed a trade surplus of US$470 million, down 0.4 percent from the corresponding period of last year. Compared with the December of 2012, January's exports declined by US$430 million, mainly because of the US$250 million decline in exports of information and telecommunication products, and the US$220 million decline in exports of electronic products, according to statistics. However, Taiwan's increasing exports and imports suggest that the global economy is recovering and Taiwan's exports will go up along with it, said Yeh Man-tsu, the leading statistician of the ministry. Yeh said that Taiwan's export momentum is set to rebound, citing the latest forecast made by the International Monetary Fund that the growth in global trade will climb from 2.8 percent last year to 3.8 percent this year. Based on the same statistics, an official from the Bureau of Foreign Trade under the Ministry of Economic Affairs pointed out that Taiwan has seen an across-the-board increase in its exports to all of its five leading partners, especially China, the Association of South East Asian Nations, and Japan. Taiwan's exports to these three partners rose by 36.1 percent, 28.0 percent and 19.5 percent, respectively. Although Taiwan's exports to Asian states are still growing faster than exports to the U.S. and European states, the imbalance is reversing gradually, said the official. Also, the official said, Taiwan's imports of capital equipment and consumption goods increased by 42.6 percent and 23.2 percent respectively last month, an indication that investment in the private sector is recovering, which bodes well for the island. (By Huang Chiao-wen, Stacey Wu and Maubo Chang)