Taiwan's July exports plunge 11.6%

Shrinking overseas demand for information technology and telecom products led to a year-on-year decline of 11.6 percent in Taiwan's export in July, the government said Tuesday.

The $24.9 billion fall was a fifth consecutive monthly drop in the island's exports. It was led by a 20.0 percent fall in exports to the United States, the finance ministry said in a statement.

Shipments to Europe declined 14.4 percent while those to China, the island's biggest overseas market, were down 11.0 percent, it said.

The weak demand for Taiwan's telecom items was reflected in leading smartphone maker HTC's worse-than-expected 45 percent slump in July sales from the previous year, according to sales figures released by the company.

The island's export totaled $171.65 billion in the seven months to July, down 5.8 percent from a year ago.

Taiwan's trade-reliant economy has shown signs of weakness in recent months due to falling demand from its key markets China, Japan and the United States.

The economy dropped 0.16 percent in the second quarter of 2012, the first quarterly contraction since 2009, according to the government.

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