TAIPEI : Taiwan's export orders likely returned to growth in May after experiencing their first fall in two years in the previous month, a Reuters poll showed on Friday, helped by demand for technology products and easing COVID-19 lockdowns in China.
The median forecast from a poll of 11 economists expects export orders to rise 0.3 per cent from a year ago. Forecasts ranged from a contraction of 3 per cent to an expansion of 6.7 per cent.
The island's export orders, a bellwether of global technology demand, unexpectedly fell 5.5 per cent from a year earlier to $51.9 billion in April, taking a larger-than-expected hit from COVID-19 lockdowns in China and broader global supply chain disruptions.
The government has predicted May orders to be in a range of a fall of 1.1 per cent and an expansion of 1.7 per cent from a year earlier.
Taiwan's export orders are a leading indicator of demand for hi-tech gadgets and Asian exports, and typically lead actual exports by two to three months.
The island's manufacturers, including the world's largest contract chipmaker Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co Ltd, are a key part of the global supply chain for technology giants including Apple Inc.
The data for May will be released on Monday.
(Poll compiled by Anant Chandak and Carol Lee; Reporting by Ben Blanchard; Editing by Rashmi Aich)