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Taiwan consumer prices fall for third successive month

Taiwan consumer prices fall for third successive month

Taiwan's consumer prices dropped for a third straight month in April as fuel costs declined.
Consumer prices fell 0.45 percent from a year earlier, the statistics bureau said yesterday in Taipei. That was in line with the median estimate of a 0.48 percent decrease in a Bloomberg News survey of eight economists.
Easing inflation pressure allowed the central bank to cut interest rates seven times since September to a record low to revive the island's economy from its recession. Crude-oil prices have fallen by half from a year earlier, reducing transport costs in Taiwan, which imports 99 percent of its energy needs.
"Macroeconomic conditions are still weak and people are still tightening spending on travel and goods," said Alan Liao, an economist at Chinatrust Commercial Bank in Taipei. "There are some signs of a recovery recently, particularly with the local stock market surging, but the job market hasn't improved."
The economy shrank an unprecedented 8.36 percent in the fourth quarter from a year earlier as consumer spending and exports dropped. That prompted the central bank to reduce the benchmark rate to a record low of 1.25 percent.
Bank Governor Perng Fai-nan left borrowing costs unchanged in March. There are signs the economy's slump may be abating as companies call employees back to work amid a pickup in China.
Taiwan's AU Optronics said April 23 that liquid-crystal-display sales will rise 50 percent this quarter from the previous three months, helped by orders from China.
The benchmark Taiex index climbed the most since 1991 to 5,992.57 on April 30 and the currency rallied after Taiwan allowed Chinese investments for the first time since a civil war ended six decades ago. The CPI report was released after the close of trading yesterday. The Taiex has risen 39 percent this year.
Chinatrust's Liao expects Taiwan's central bank will hold steady at its next scheduled quarterly meeting in June.
Food prices climbed 1.50 percent after rising 2.46 percent in March. Entertainment costs declined 0.66 percent and the price of transportation fell 5.97 percent.
Core consumer prices, a category excluding vegetables, fruits, fish and energy, rose 0.40 percent in April after climbing 0.81 percent in March.
Import prices decreased 13.74 percent from a year earlier, while wholesale prices slipped 10.99 percent.


Updated : 2021-03-02 04:16 GMT+08:00