Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, Taiwan’s export orders in February fell for a second month, but at a far slower pace than they did in January. February orders slipped 0.8% from a year earlier to $28.68 billion, data from Taiwan’s Ministry of Economic Affairs showed on Friday, partly helped by a low base in February 2019.
Orders had been expected to fall at a slower pace as the week-long Lunar New Year fell in February last year but occurred in January this year.
Economists in a Reuters poll had estimated orders would slip 0.6% compared with a 12.8% decline in January – the steepest in nearly seven years.
In a statement, the ministry said telecommunications products were down 23% from a year ago, as supply chains and production were affected by the outbreak of the coronavirus. The ministry expects March export orders to fall between 13.2% and 9.3% from a year earlier.
It said, however, rising demand for new technologies, including fifth-generation telecommunications (5G) and artificial intelligence, will help boost sales in the coming months.
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