June 4, 2020 / 5:55 AM / a month ago

Taiwan May exports seen down 4.7%, inflation at -0.8%: Reuters poll

FILE PHOTO - Shipping containers are seen at Keelung port, northern Taiwan, March 20, 2016. Picture taken March 20, 2016. REUTERS/Tyrone Siu

TAIPEI (Reuters) - Taiwan’s exports are expected to have dropped 4.7% in May compared with a year earlier, as the coronavirus outbreak continues to hit global demand for Taiwan’s electronics exports, according to a median forecast of 12 analysts polled by Reuters.

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

Forecasts ranged widely from a decline of 11.4% to growth of 3.7% amid uncertainties over the coronavirus outbreak that has disrupted global supply chains and hit growth outlook for the island’s tech manufacturers including the world’s largest contract chip manufacturer, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co Ltd (TSMC) (2330.TW).

Taiwan’s exports slipped an on-year 1.3% in April due to the impact from the coronavirus.

Taiwan’s economic growth is likely to slow to its weakest in five years in 2020 as the coronavirus pandemic hurts domestic consumption and the job market, though strong global demand for electronics could cushion the blow for the trade-reliant island.

Inflation in May was seen at -0.8% from a year earlier, the poll found, a slight improvement on the -0.97% logged in April.

Poll compiled by Carol Lee; Reporting by Ben Blanchard; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore

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