Tue, Oct 28, 2003 - Page 10 News List

Economic indicators flash `green light' for third month, showing steady growth

AFP , TAIPEI

The economy continued to post steady growth last month with economic indicators flashing a "green light" for the third consecutive month, official data showed yesterday.

The index of leading indicators for last month came in at 101.90 points, up 0.20 percent from August, when it rose a revised 0.90 percent, the Council for Economic Planning and Development said.

The composite indicator rose to 29.00 points last month from 26 in August, with both figures signaling a "green light" level pointing to steady economic growth, it said.

Based on the current performance, the council said it does not rule out the possibility that the economy may demonstrate "stronger than steady" growth over the remainder of the year.

"Yes, it is certainly possible for the composite indicator to flash a `yellow-red light' level that points to a slight overheating in the coming months," the council's economic research department deputy director general Chen Pao-jui (陳寶瑞) said.

The council uses a five-tier spectrum to gauge domestic economic health, with blue indicating recession, yellow-blue a slowdown, green steady growth, yellow-red a slight overheating and red an absolute overheating.

Against last month's composite indicator that stood at 29 points and represented a green-light level, a shift to yellow-red would require an increase in the index itself to 32 points.

Given the improving data, the government may possibly raise next month its forecast for economic growth in the fourth quarter from the 3.06 percent projected in August, Chen said.

Chen said the council expects the economy to hold its upward course going forward as the index of leading indicators has posted four consecutive rises since June.

This upbeat outlook is further bolstered by corporate confidence remaining optimistic, while export orders have repeatedly hit new highs and the financial markets remain vigorous, he added.

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