February 13, 2018 / 8:51 AM / 13 days ago

Taiwan raises 2018 GDP outlook as tech demand fuels exports

TAIPEI, Feb 13 (Reuters) - Taiwan’s government raised its 2018 economic growth forecast to 2.42 percent from an earlier estimate of 2.29 percent, as robust exports continued to drive economic momentum.

Fourth-quarter growth in 2017 was kept at 3.28 percent, the same as preliminary figures, putting full-year 2017 GDP at 2.86 percent compared with 2.84 percent earlier as there were revisions in the previous quarters.

The government also nudged up its inflation outlook for 2018 to 1.21 percent from 0.96 percent projected in November.

The latest revision was announced by the Directorate General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics.

In November, the government had upwardly revised its outlook for both 2017 and 2018 GDP.

Exports were a strong spot for the economy last year, with factories rushing to meet orders for Apple Inc’s much-anticipated iPhone X that went on sale in the fourth quarter, and other new smartphones and tech products.

Taiwan is one of Asia’s major exporters especially of technology goods, and its export trend is an important gauge of global demand for technology gadgets worldwide.

Reporting by Emily Chan; Editing by Jacqueline Wong

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