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Taiwan’s economic growth probably slowed in the fourth quarter (Q4) as the island’s technology exports were hit by softening global demand and fallout from the US-China trade war.


The median forecast in a Reuters poll of 14 economists was for the Q4 gross domestic product (GDP) to expand 2.0 per cent from a year earlier.

The country reported 2.27 per cent annual growth for the third quarter.

The preliminary figures will be released on Thursday along with a brief statement. Revised figures will be released about three weeks later, with details and forecasts.

The government in November slightly lowered its economic growth forecasts for 2018 and 2019.

It trimmed 2018 to 2.66 per cent from a preliminary 2.69 per cent and its projection for 2019 to 2.41 percent from 2.55 per cent.

Taiwan’s export orders, a leading indicator of actual exports in the coming months, suffered their steepest fall in more than two-and-a-half years in December.

In January, Apple Inc took the rare step of cutting its quarterly sales forecast, with Chief Executive Tim Cook blaming slow iPhone sales in China.

In December, Taiwan’s central bank said it expects the economy to expand 2.33 per cent in 2019, down from a previous forecast of 2.48 per cent.

The central bank also held its benchmark discount rate at 1.375 per cent, which has remained unchanged since June 2016, adding that it would maintain appropriate loose monetary policy to support the economy.

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