© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: People buy and sell meat ahead of the lunar new year in Taipei, Taiwan, January 17, 2023. REUTERS/Ann Wang
TAIPEI (Reuters) – Taiwan’s export-dependent economy likely slipped into a recession in the first quarter, a Reuters poll showed on Wednesday, weighed down by sluggish demand for technology products amid global economic woes.
Gross domestic product (GDP) likely fell 1.25% in the January-March period versus a year earlier, the poll of 24 economists showed. The GDP had contracted 0.41% year-on-year in the fourth quarter.
The economists’ forecasts for preliminary GDP data due on Friday varied widely from a contraction of 2.9% to growth of
Exports slid annually for a seventh consecutive month in March, with a prognosis from the government that the downturn may continue until at least the fourth quarter.
“Semiconductor exports are facing a severe downturn due to the ending of the pandemic-related demand, a rise in interest rates, and escalation of U.S.-China tech tensions,” according to a DBS research report.
The government has said it expects full-year 2023 growth of 2.12%, its slowest pace in nearly eight years and lower than the 2.45% growth for 2022.
Taiwan is a key hub in the global technology supply chain for giants such as Apple Inc (NASDAQ:), and home to the world’s largest contract chipmaker, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co Ltd (TSMC).
Taiwan’s preliminary figures will be released in a statement with minimal commentary. Revised figures will be released a few weeks later, with more details and forward-looking forecasts.
(Poll compiled by Anant Chandak, Madhumita Gokhale and Carol Lee; Reporting by Faith Hung; Editing by Ben Blanchard and Uttaresh Venkateshwaran)