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Taiwan Q3 economic growth highest in over two years

[TAIPEI] Taiwan's economy grew 3.1 per cent in the July-September period to a ten-quarter high thanks to robust overseas demand for consumer electronics products, the government said Friday.

Traditionally an export-driven technology hub, Taiwan is home to industry giants such as Foxconn and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) - key suppliers for Apple's iPhones.

Third-quarter growth was the highest since 3.99 per cent in the 2015 first quarter, boosted by a 17.49 per cent increase in exports, of which 14.99 per cent was from electronic components, it said.

The island benefitted from global economic recovery and growing peak-season shipments for consumer electronic products in this period, said the Directorate-General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics.

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"Export growth was impressive in the third quarter to a record amount and was better than our expectations. Private consumption was also boosted by travelling and new car purchases," said Yeh Maan Tzwu, an official at the agency.

Due to improving global outlook and strong trade, the agency also raised its fourth quarter forecast to 2.3 per cent year-on-year, and 2017 full-year growth to 2.58 per cent, the highest since 2014's 4.02 per cent.

It estimated the economy would grow 2.29 per cent in 2018 - despite major government infrastructure projects planned to start next year - due to a slowing in the upturn in export.