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POLL-Taiwan seen returning to growth in Q3 as island shakes off pandemic impact

Credit: REUTERS/ANN WANG

Taiwan's economy probably grew 1.5% in the third quarter, a Reuters poll showed, as the export-dependent island continued to shake off the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic with strong exports and consumer confidence returning.

For poll data click: reuters://realtime/verb=Open/url=cpurl://apps.cp./Apps/econ-polls?RIC=TWGDPP%3DECI

Preliminary Q3 GDP seen at +1.5% y/y (prior qtr -0.58% y/y)

Data due Friday, Oct 30, 16:00 p.m. (0800 GMT)

TAIPEI, Oct 28 (Reuters) - Taiwan's economy probably grew 1.5% in the third quarter, a Reuters poll showed, as the export-dependent island continued to shake off the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic with strong exports and consumer confidence returning.

The economy shrank 0.58% in the second quarter from a year earlier, with the coronavirus outbreak pummelling tourism and consumer spending even as electronics exports held up as more people worked from home.

But Taiwan, a key part of the global technology supply chain for technology giants such as Apple Inc AAPL.O, is expected to have returned to growth in July-September, with gross domestic product (GDP) seen expanding 1.5% on-year, according to the poll of 15 economists. The economy grew 1.59% in the first quarter.

Taiwan's export orders rose for the seventh consecutive month in September, helped by strong global demand for the island's tech products, with Apple rolling out a new iPhone.

In September, Taiwan's central bank revised up its growth outlook for the year, saying the economy would return to growth in the second half, supported by rising exports and a series of stimulus programmes which are expected to eventually total more than T$1 trillion ($34.98 billion).

It raised its 2020 forecast for GDP growth to 1.6% from 1.52% predicted in June, and said it saw next year's growth at 3.28%.

Taiwan has the pandemic well under controls thanks to early and effective prevention, and its exports have benefited from the work from home trend around the world which have boosted demand for laptops, tablets and other electronics.

Taiwan's largest trading partner is China, whose economic recovery accelerated in the third quarter as consumers shook off their coronavirus caution.

The preliminary third-quarter figures will be released on Friday. Revised figures, including details and government forecasts, will be published about three weeks later.

($1 = 28.5890 Taiwan dollars)

(Poll compiled by Carol Lee; Reporting by Ben Blanchard and Yimou Lee; Editing by Kim Coghill)

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