Taiwan: Economy expands in the fourth quarter of 2012
February 22, 2013
In the fourth quarter, GDP rose 3.7% over the same period the year before, according to preliminary data released by the statistical institute on 22 February. The reading was well above the 0.7% rise observed in the third quarter (previously reported: +1.0% year-on-year) and marked the highest increase observed since Q2 2011. Overall in 2012, GDP grew 1.3%, down from the 4.1% increase recorded in 2011.
The improvement over the previous quarter was driven by a recovery in both the domestic and the external sector. Private consumption grew 1.6% in the fourth quarter (Q3 2012: +0.9% yoy), while fixed investment also improved, and rebounded from a 0.9% contraction in Q3 to a 1.3% expansion in Q4.
On the external side of the economy, exports outpaced imports. Exports of goods and services increased 4.0% (Q3: +2.3% yoy), while imports grew 2.2% (Q3: +1.9% yoy). As a result, the net contribution from the external sector to overall growth rose from 0.6 percentage points in the third quarter to 1.8 percentage points in the fourth.
Seasonally adjusted data corroborate the improvement suggested by the annual figures, as GDP soared 7.3% over the previous period, which was above the 3.9% increase recorded in Q3.
The government expects GDP to expand 3.6% this year. Consensus Forecast panellists expect the economy to grow 3.4% in 2013, which is up 0.1 percentage points over the previous month. For 2014, the panel sees economic growth at 4.0%.