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Taiwan’s export orders slipped for an eighth month in April

Taiwan’s export orders slipped for an eighth month in April and missed forecasts, pulled down by soft demand for technology products and slowing global growth, with the outlook remaining dim.

The island’s export orders, a bellwether for worldwide technology demand, fell 18.1% from a year ago to $42.49 billion, the Ministry of Economic Affairs said on Monday.

April was the eighth straight month of contraction, though improving from a 25.7% plunge in March, the sharpest decline in nearly 14 years. However, April’s figure was worse than a drop of 13.9% forecast in a Reuters poll.

The ministry reiterated previous warnings that persistently high inflation and rising interest rates, along with the global repercussions of the war between Russia and Ukraine, could continue to impede economic growth momentum in the months ahead.

Orders will keep contracting in the first half, it added.

The downward trend in orders is expected to continue until the fourth quarter, the government has said.

Orders for telecommunications products shed 0.9% and electronic products fell 21.9% from a year earlier, the statement said.

The ministry also restated its belief that those negative factors could be offset by positive ones such as renewed demand for emerging technologies like AI, high-performance computing, cloud data centres, and automotive electronics.

Taiwanese firms such as Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co Ltd, are major suppliers to Apple Inc AAPL.O, Qualcomm Inc and other global tech companies.

The ministry said it expected export orders in May to fall by 23.3% to 26.9% from a year earlier.

Taiwan’s April orders from China were 24.2% lower on year, compared with a 33.8% drop in March.

Orders from the United States fell 15.2% from a year earlier, versus a 20.7% drop in the prior month.

Orders from Europe were down 26.6%, versus March’s 33.8% slide. Orders from Japan rose 2.3% year-on-year. Nasdaq

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