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Industrial output was stable in August, remaining below the peak of March, and leads suggest a further slowdown in the next few months. It is unlikely consumption will be robust enough to compensate for this industrial slowdown, even though retail sales ticked up in August.
With the labour market not particularly hot, and the CBC forecasting inflation of less than 2% next year, it isn't surprising that tightening remains slow. That creates depreciation pressure on the TWD, but for the time being, that's not a trend the CBC will feel a need to fight very hard against.
Taiwan's export orders to China continued to drop sharply in August. That is an indication of just how weak Chinese growth is, but is also a warning that a big change may be coming in overall world demand.
Since the pandemic began, productivity has probably increased more quickly in Taiwan than any other major economy. As a result, Taiwan isn't facing the higher inflation and rates being experienced elsewhere. Taiwan's competitiveness instead reinforces structural trends for a stronger TWD.
Taiwan's exports fell sharply MoM in August, matching the deterioration seen in the Korean export data that were released last week. Leading indicators continue to point to more downside ahead.
Inflation has likely peaked, and should decline in the coming months. The two risks round that are first, rising food prices, and second, cost inflation in services. There are reasons to think that services price might rise further from here, but for now, that seems like a tail risk.
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