(Updates with economist’s comment in fourth paragraph.)
Oct. 20 (Bloomberg) -- Taiwan’s export orders increased by the least in two years in September, indicating the export-led economy remains under pressure from a faltering global recovery.
Orders, an indication of shipments in the next one to three months, climbed 2.72 percent from a year earlier, after a 5.26 percent gain in August, the Ministry of Economic Affairs said in Taipei today. The median of 11 estimates in a Bloomberg News survey was for a 3.46 percent advance.
Asia’s expansion is easing as faltering recoveries in the U.S. and Europe weigh on the region. China’s economy grew at the slowest pace since 2009 last quarter, Bank Indonesia cut rates this month and the Bank of Thailand yesterday kept its benchmark one-day bond repurchase rate at 3.5 percent, ending its longest series of increases since 2006.
“Weakening global demand” prompted last month’s slowdown in orders, Cheng Cheng-mount, a Taipei-based economist at Citigroup Inc., said before the report.
The monetary authority will probably keep borrowing costs unchanged at 1.875 percent through the end of next year, he said.
The Taiex stock index fell 1.5 percent today before the release. The Taiwan dollar declined 0.6 percent to NT$30.269 against its U.S. counterpart at the 4 p.m. close, according to Taipei Forex Inc.
Overseas shipments account for about two-thirds of Taiwan’s $355 billion economy, with China its largest trading partner.
The government in August cut its forecast for 2011 growth to 4.81 percent from 5.01 percent and said the expansion will slow to 4.58 percent in 2012. That’s less than half the 2010 pace of 10.9 percent, which was the fastest expansion in Asia behind Singapore’s, according to International Monetary Fund data.
The central bank last month refrained from raising interest rates, ending five straight quarters of increases as Asian policy makers seek to protect their economies.
The value of export orders advanced to $36.96 billion last month from $36.71 billion in August, today’s report showed.
Orders from Japan fell 13.19 percent in September from a year earlier, after declining 9.52 percent in August. Demand from China and Hong Kong combined increased 5.67 percent, after rising 3.44 percent. Purchases from the U.S. climbed 9.33 percent, compared with a 9.05 percent gain in August. Orders from Europe were down 2.22 percent, after gaining 8.08 percent in August.
Orders for electronics fell 3.2 percent in September from a year earlier, following a 0.74 percent decline the previous month. Demand for information technology and communications products climbed 2.89 percent, after rising 9.88 percent in August.
--With assistance from Ailing Tan in Singapore. Editors: Michael Heath, Janet Ong
To contact the reporter on this story: Chinmei Sung in Taipei at firstname.lastname@example.org
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