|Taiwan sees more export orders thanks to global smartphone demand
Taiwan's export orders in September grew 2.0 percent year-on-year, the third monthly rise in succession, on strong European and US demand for smartphones, the government said Monday.
Export orders -- orders filed to manufacturers one or two months ahead of delivery -- are a key indicator for the island's export-reliant economy, AFP reports.
The September figure came in at US$38.4 billion, following a 0.5 percent rise in both July and August, the economic ministry said.
Orders for handheld and related devices grew 16.2 percent from a year earlier to US$11 billion due to the launch of new products. Such orders from Europe increased 29.4 percent from a year earlier and those from the United States rose 21.4 percent, the ministry said in a statement.
The increasing orders for smartphones also boosted demand for semiconductors, it added.
A large segment of the smartphone orders went to Hon Hai Precision, the world's largest computer components manufacturer which assembles products for Apple -- including the iPhone -- as well as for Sony and Nokia.
Total orders from the United States were US$9.8 billion, up 7.0 percent from a year earlier, and those from Europe rose 15.6 percent to US$7.4 billion.
Orders from China including Hong Kong -- Taiwan's biggest export market -- shed 6.1 percent to US$9.6 billion.
The government in August revised its full-year 2013 growth forecast downwards to 2.31 percent, citing a weaker global economic outlook and slowing exports and consumer spending in the second half.
The economy grew 1.32 percent in 2012, its slowest pace in three years.