Taiwan Economy Picked Up Speed in 3rd Quarter on Tech Upswing

By Chester YungFeaturesDow Jones Newswires

Taiwan's economy accelerated in the July-September period for the first time in three quarters, official data showed Tuesday.

The growth was powered by continued strength in the island's technology exports against the backdrop of the latest smartphone-release cycle.

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Gross domestic product expanded by 3.11% from a year ago, accelerating from a 2.13% increase in the second quarter. The result came in much stronger than economists' forecast of 2.1% growth in a Wall Street Journal survey.

Exports continued to drive much of the island's growth, contributing 7.02 percentage points to the expansion of GDP. Domestic consumption, however, continued to show weakness--raising some questions about companies' confidence in the sustainability of the economy's growth rate.

The month-over-month data--a better gauge of more-recent developments in the economy--suggested the acceleration in growth was even more pronounced. GDP expanded 7.45% on an annualized sequential basis in the third quarter, compared with 0.47% in the second.

Economists, however, tend to focus more on the island's year-over-year figures because of the volatility of the sequential data and potential distortions in seasonal adjustment.

Write to Chester Yung at chester.yung@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

October 31, 2017 04:52 ET (08:52 GMT)