Current-account surplus plunges 27.3%

CENTRAL BANK REPORT: Exports dropped US$6.25 billion in the fourth quarter, due to lackluster growth in the smartphone sector and slowing global demand

Taipei Times
Date: Feb 25, 2019
By: Kao Shih-ching  /  Staff reporter

The central bank’s quarterly balance-of-payments report on Friday showed that current-account surplus tumbled 27.3 percent from a year earlier to US$18.65 billion in the fourth quarter last year, as net exports sank sharply.

The current account, calculating a nation’s transactions with foreign countries, mainly reflects the trade balance in merchandise and services.

Net exports — exports minus imports — shrank 24 percent from a year earlier to US$17.47 billion, as the US$800 million decline in imports was less than the US$6.25 billion plunge in exports, the central bank said, adding that it was due to slowing global demand and lackluster growth in the smartphone market.

For the whole of last year, exports rose 1 percent annually to US$353.45 billion and imports gained 6.2 percent to US$285.71 billion, resulting in a trade surplus of US$67.73 billion, down 16.2 percent from 2017, central bank data showed.    [FULL  STORY]

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