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Taiwan Shrugs Off Pandemic to Deliver Surprise Growth

Taiwan Shrugs Off Pandemic to Deliver Surprise Growth

TAIPEI -- Taiwan’s economy grew with unexpected speed through the summer and early fall, riding high on strong exports and a rebound in consumption sp

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TAIPEI — Taiwan’s economy grew with unexpected speed through the summer and early fall, riding high on strong exports and a rebound in consumption spurred on by the island’s success in fighting the coronavirus pandemic.

GDP growth came in at 3.3% for the third quarter from a year ago, the highest figure in more than two years, Taiwan’s statistics bureau reported Friday. Analysts said the expansion puts Taiwan on track to be one of the few major economies in the world to expand this year.

“It’s a big upside surprise to us,” said Ma Tieying, a Singapore-based economist at DBS Bank . Ms. Ma was among several analysts who projected Taiwan’s GDP to end up somewhere between flat and 1% growth for the quarter.

The eye-popping result offers validation for the strict Covid-19 controls officials imposed early on in Taiwan, which hasn’t reported a case of local transmission in more than 200 days. The island has recorded a total of 553 Covid cases and seven deaths.

Taiwan has been able to avoid any lockdowns by keeping in place a ban on inbound travel by foreigners that started in March and imposing a strict two-week quarantine on local residents returning home from abroad. As a result, Taiwanese factories were able to stay open and feed surging exports that are helping drive the island toward a V-shaped recovery.

This post first appeared on wsj.com

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