Taiwan’s foreign trade increased 5.5 percent to US$48.08 billion in December on the back of a recovering global economy and Lunar New Year inventory purchases by mainland Chinese firms, according to the Ministry of Finance Jan. 7. The latest MOF statistics showed Taiwan’s exports climbed 9 percent year on year to US$26.1 billion, while imports inched up 1.6 percent to US$21.98 billion. The country’s net trade surplus surged 78 percent to US$4.13 billion. Yeh Maan-tzwu, director-general of the MOF Department of Statistics, credited the encouraging results to robust demand for Taiwan’s display panels, oil products and transportation equipment, which all registered double-digit growth from the year before. Taiwan’s full-year exports dipped 2.3 percent to US$301.11 billion year on year, while imports decreased 3.8 percent to US$270.73 billion. Foreign trade was down 3 percent to US$571.84 billion, with net trade surplus surging 13.27 percent to an all-time high of US$30.38 billion.