Taiwan Q3 GDP grows faster than expected on lifting of Covid curbs

TAIWAN'S economy grew much faster than expected in the third quarter and at its fastest pace since the last three months of 2021, boosted by a resumption in domestic demand following the easing of Covid-19 curbs even as exports slowed.

For the July-September period, annual gross domestic product (GDP) grew by 4.1 per cent from the same period a year earlier, compared with 3.05 per cent for the previous quarter, preliminary data from the statistics agency showed on Friday (Oct 28).

That was well above an increase of 3.2 per cent forecast in a Reuters poll, and the fastest pace since logging a 5.32 per cent expansion in the fourth quarter of last year.

Compared with the previous quarter, the economy expanded 6.63 per cent on a seasonally adjusted annual rate.

The statistics office said there was a "significant return" of consumer spending in the third quarter, as the government relaxed controls to stop the spread of Covid-19, though off a low base given tight curbs at the same time last year.

Total third-quarter exports rose only 3.38 per cent from a year earlier in US dollar terms, the agency said, impacted by high global inflation, Covid-19 lockdowns in Taiwan's largest export market China and generally weaker global demand.

Taiwan will release revised GDP figures on Nov 29, including full-year growth forecasts for 2022. In August, the statistics agency revised down its full year outlook to 3.76 per cent from a previous forecast of 3.91 per cent. REUTERS

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