Taiwan: Exports drop in February amid Lunar New Year holidays
March 7, 2013
In February, exports fell 15.8% over the same month last year, which contrasted the 21.6% expansion seen in January and came in below market expectations of an 8.1% drop. As in the previous month, the reading reflects seasonal distortions stemming form the Lunar New Year holidays. That said, a decline in exports of electronic, basic metals, chemicals as well as plastic and rubber products were the main drivers behind the monthly decrease. The 12-month sum of exports up to February fell 1.4%, which contrasted the 0.6% rise recorded in the same period ending in January.
Meanwhile, imports decreased 8.5% in February, contrasting the 22.4% rise seen in January. The result prompted the moving 12-month sum of imports up to February to fall 2.0% (January: -1.3% year-on-year).
Finally, the trade balance recorded a USD 919 million surplus in February, surprising the market on the downside, as analysts expected a USD 2.1 billion surplus. As a result, in the 12 months up to February, the trade surplus fell to USD 28.7 from USD 30.7 billion in the previous period.
FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panellists expect exports to grow 6.2% in 2013 and 8.9% in 2014.