Taiwan, home to many of the world’s largest technology companies, reported a daily record 152 Covid deaths on Saturday amid a fresh sign of slower economic growth there.
The previous record for single-day deaths was 145 announced on May 29, the Central News Agency reported.
The dead included a one-year-old infant; 71 were unvaccinated, and 144 had chronic illnesses or other severe diseases, the agency said. Some 68,118 domestically transmitted cases were also reported, down from last month’s daily peak of 94,808 infections on May 27, CNA said.
The record number of deaths follows signs of easing economic growth. The agency also reported on Saturday that residential and commercial property transactions in Taiwan’s six largest cities dropped by 7.7% year-over-year in May amid an increase in interest rates.
Last week, the government lowered its GDP forecast for 2022 to 3.91% from 4.42%, according to the Directorate General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics. DGBAS’s forecast for Taiwan’s private consumption growth was cut by two percentage points from the previous estimate to 3.10%, which is turn shaved the GDP growth forecast by 0.5 to 0.7 percentage points this year, CNA said. The government’s forecast for private investment growth was lowered by 1.04 percentage points to 4.61%. Investment growth will be buoyed by the semiconductor industry, CNA said.
On a more positive note, Taiwan businesses in the Shanghai area may benefit from eased lockdowns in the mainland international business hub starting June 1. Shanghai nightspots such as Xintiandi were crowded on Saturday as locals enjoyed the weekend. (See related post here.) Taiwan businesses are some of the largest investors in the mainland’s economy.
Back in Taiwan, 2022 Taipei International Book Exhibition opened to in-person attendees for the first time in three years on Thursday. The local book publishing industry’s biggest annual event attracted more than 300 international and local publishers. France was a guest of honor and has 17 contemporary writers engaging with readers on site or remotely in over 50 public events; speakers also came from HarperCollins and Ullstein Buchverlage.
Taiwan is the world’s 22nd largest economy, has a population of more than 23 million and is a leading source of the world’s semiconductors. Taiwan businesses that rank on the Forbes Global 2000 list of the world’s top publicly traded companies include Hon Hai Precision — the big supplier to Apple led by billionaire Terry Gou, and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Corp., or TSMC, which makes computer chips for Intel. Others among Taiwan’s numerous Apple suppliers include Pegatron, Lite-On Technology, Inventec, Catcher Technology, Largan Precision and Compeq Manufacturing.
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