Taiwan's Payments Deficit Sets New High

Taiwan sustained an unfavorable balance of payments totaling US$6.12 billion in the fourth quarter of last year, setting a new quarterly record, according to reports reaching here from Taipei Tuesday.

The deficit represents an increase of US$5.68 billion over the previous quarter, a local bank was cited as saying.

Taiwan's current account deficit totaled US$4.23 billion in the fourth quarter of 2000, the highest quarterly figure since 1996, while the capital account deficit reached US$45 million during the same period, the reports said.

The reports attributed the tremendous increase to weak confidence in the local currency, which led to an increase of local people depositing foreign currency in local banks.

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