Taiwan’s economy seen expanding 5.6% in first quarter on strong exports

Taiwan’s trade-dependent economy grew faster in the first quarter, supported by a rebound in exports amid upbeat demand for the technology that powers artificial intelligence (AI) applications.

Gross domestic product (GDP) to have expanded 5.65% during January-March versus a year-ago period. GDP grew 4.93% year-on-year in the fourth quarter of 2023.

First-quarter exports rose 12.9% year-on-year, compared with the fourth-quarter’s annual expansion of just 3.4%, as Taiwan’s tech-heavy exporters like chipmakers rode a wave of AI demand.

Due to strong exports, the manufacturing sector is getting its wind back and unemployment remains low, SinoPac Securities Investment analyst Mickey Liao said.

The government’s statistics bureau in February raised its forecast for full-year 2024 growth to 3.43% from a previous prediction of 3.35%. Last year, the economy expanded 1.31%, its slowest pace in 14 years.

Taiwan is a key hub in the global technology supply chain for giants such as Apple and Nvidia.