TAIPEI (Reuters) – Taiwan’s export orders likely fell for a third straight month in March and at a much faster pace, a Reuters poll showed, as the coronavirus pandemic hurts global demand for electronics which are pivotal to the island’s export-reliant economy.
The median forecast from the poll of 12 economists was for export orders to contract 10.15% from last year. Forecasts widely ranged from a decline of 2% to 20%.
February orders slipped 0.8% but at a far slower pace than January’s 12.8% decline, amid worries that the coronavirus outbreak would hurt the global economy and dent demand for consumer electronics.
Taiwan’s export orders are a leading indicator of demand for Asia’s exports and hi-tech gadgets, and typically lead actual exports by two to three months.
(Poll compiled by Carol Lee; Reporting by Yimou Lee; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)