Taiwan Q4 preliminary GDP beats forecast, 2023 growth at 1.4%


TAIPEI (Reuters) – Taiwan’s trade-dependent economy accelerated in the fourth quarter, growing faster than expected thanks to strong domestic consumption and a rebound in exports, and expanded 1.4% for the full year.

Taiwan is a key hub in the global technology supply chain for companies such as Apple Inc, and home to the world’s largest contract chipmaker, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co Ltd (TSMC).

Gross domestic product grew by a preliminary 5.12% in the October-December period from a year earlier, the statistics agency said on Wednesday, beating the 4.35% growth forecast by analysts in a Reuters poll.

Quarter-on-quarter, the economy expanded at a seasonally adjusted annualised rate of 8.79%.

GDP grew 2.32% year-on-year in the third quarter.

Taiwan’s exports, a main driver of the island’s economy, emerged from a year-long decline in September.

Fourth-quarter exports rose 3.4% year-on-year after contracting at a 5.1% annual rate in the third quarter, while the island’s trade surplus leapt 131% year-on-year in the final three months of the year.

Full year growth of 1.4% slightly missed the statistics bureau’s November forecast of 1.42%, its slowest pace in 14 years and lower than the 2.45% growth for 2022.

The economy in China, Taiwan’s largest export market, grew 5.2% year-on-year in the fourth quarter, picking up from 4.9% in the third quarter, but missing a 5.3% forecast in a Reuters poll.

Taiwan’s statistics agency will provide revised figures a few weeks later, with more details and forward-looking forecasts.

(Reporting by Jeanny Kao and Faith Hung; Editing by Christopher Cushing and Tomasz Janowski)

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