Consumer goods imports hit 4-month high

Taipei, Consumer goods imports for the first four months of this year totaled US$11.49 billion, up 13.2 percent from a year earlier, according to data compiled by the Ministry of Finance (MOF).

The growth for the four-month period came after an annual increase of 7.9 percent for the whole of 2017, when total consumer goods imports stood at an annual high of US$34.02 billion, data compiled by the MOF shows.

The increase in consumer goods imports shows a rise in private consumption as the local economy has been on the road to recovery and the local equity market has been booming to stand above the 10,000-point mark, the MOF said.

The MOF said food products accounted for almost 25 percent of the total imports in the four-month period to hit US$2.85 billion, up 13.5 percent from a year earlier. Food was also the largest import category in 2017, making up 24.8 percent of the total.

In the four-month period, home appliances and information technology products represented 19.6 percent of the total imports, with a value at US$2.25 billion, up 3.4 percent from a year earlier, while health and beauty products, such as food supplements and skin care items, hit US$2.01 billion, representing 17.5 percent of the total imports, up 18.5 percent from a year earlier.

The MOF said imports of vehicles like passenger cars totaled US$1.78 billion, making up 15.5 percent of the total in the four months and up 23.7 percent from a year earlier, MOF said.

In terms of textile product imports, value stood at US$664 million, accounting for 5.8 percent of the total, up 12.9 percent from a year earlier, the MOF said.

According to the MOF, vehicles and food items enjoyed the largest year-on-year growth among the major import categories in the four months.

The MOF said people favored imported cars from Germany and Japan, each of which accounted for 33 percent of the total vehicle imports in 2017, while about 68 percent of home appliance and information technology device imports came from China, in particular smartphones and notebook computers.

About 20 percent of food imports came from the United Sates, with beef, fruit and nuts the majority, the MOF said.

The MOF said that about 54 percent of textile imports came from China in 2017, ahead of Vietnam with 12.4 percent, Italy with 5.1 percent, Japan with 3.1 percent and Bangladesh with 2.9 percent.

The MOF said China served as the largest consumer product supplier to Taiwan in 2017, accounting for 26.4 percent of the total, ahead of Japan with 11.2 percent and the U.S. with 10.1 percent.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel