The world will be living with volatile oil prices for years to come, but this year's price spike should not be serious enough to push the country into a recession, Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan said on Friday. \nGreenspan gave a generally upbeat assessment of the economy's ability to withstand the spike in oil prices of recent months, saying that he did not believe the country will see a replay of the oil shocks of the 1970s and early 1980s that triggered a series of recessions. But he added some major qualifiers. \n"We and the rest of the world doubtless will have to live with the uncertainties of the oil markets for some time to come," he said in a speech to an Italian-American group. \nGreenspan also said his forecast of a milder economic impact from the current price spike depended on oil prices not rising significantly higher than they already have. \n"Obviously, the risk of more serious negative consequences would intensify if oil prices were to move materially higher," Greenspan said. \nThe Fed chairman spoke on a day when crude oil prices climbed further into record territory, with the price in New York trading hitting US$54.93, up US$0.17 from Thursday's record close. \nGreenspan said that even at current levels, crude oil prices are still about 40 percent below the all-time highs -- in inflation-adjusted terms -- of February 1981. \n"The impact of the current surge in oil prices, though noticeable, is likely to prove less consequential to economic growth and inflation than in the 1970s," Greenspan said. \nHis comments had a soothing impact on Wall Street, giving a boost to stock prices that had suffered a 153-point drop over the previous two days as investors faced new supply worries due to threats to production in the Middle East and other key oil producing countries. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 38.93 points on Friday to close at 9,933.38. \nGreenspan predicted the global economy will adjust to the recent surge in prices by boosting energy exploration and production and by increasing fuel efficiency. \nHe said this year's rise in oil prices, which currently stand 80 percent higher than 12 months ago, had the effect of imposing a tax on US consumers equivalent to 0.75 percent of the country's total economic output, or about US$80 billion. \nThat was a smaller dampening effect than the oil crises of the 1970s and early 1980s, he said, which were severe enough to send the country into a number of recessions. \n"Greenspan is saying that the increase in energy prices is a minor, not a major, problem," said David Wyss, chief economist at Standard & Poor's in New York. "But nobody knows for sure because nobody knows what is going to happen in the Middle East." \nWyss said he believes oil price increases that have already occurred will trim about 1 percentage point from economic growth next year. He is forecasting the gross domestic product will expand by just 3.5 percent next year, compared with estimates by many analysts of 4 percent-plus GDP growth this year. \nGreenspan several months ago said the jump in oil prices had helped push the country into a "soft patch" of sharply slower economic growth as consumers cut back drastically on their spending. However, last month Greenspan said he believed the economy has "regained some traction."
DEVELOPING TALENT: The electronics contractor is looking to recruit people to work in core tech fields and emerging industries like electric cars and robotics Hon Hai Precision Industry Co (鴻海精密), the world’s largest contract electronics maker, has launched a recruitment drive, offering a monthly salary of no less than NT$45,000 (US$1,485) to university graduates. For those with a master’s degree, the starting pay would be NT$52,000 per month at the minimum, while doctorate degree holders would receive at least NT$60,000 a month, Hon Hai said a statement issued early this week. The latest recruitment drive is aimed at attracting talent in core technology fields — artificial intelligence, semiconductors and next-generation mobile communications — and emerging industries — electric vehicles, digital healthcare and robotics, the
MRT TRAVEL FALLS: In February, ridership on the Taipei MRT System fell 8.96 percent from an average of 2.01 million per day in January Scooter sales jumped 13 percent last month as more commuters turned to two-wheelers to avoid public transportation amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the latest statistics showed. Sales expanded to 74,493 units last month, compared with 65,913 units in February, statistics released on Wednesday by Kwang Yang Motor Co (光陽工業) and the Ministry of Transportation and Communications showed. In the first quarter, aggregate sales slid 0.51 percent year-over-year to 186,627 units, from 187,580 units, data showed. Kwang Yang, the nation’s biggest scooter manufacturer, continued to lead the market by selling 24,136 vehicles last month, growing 6.12 percent from 20,785 units in the previous month, while
Asustek Computer Inc (華碩), the nation’s leading PC vendor, yesterday launched its first dual-screen gaming laptop powered by Intel Corp’s latest central processing units (CPUs). The PC manufacturer’s announcement closely followed the US chipmaker’s unveiling of its 10th Generation Core H-series, the fastest commercial mobile processors with speeds of up to 5 gigahertz. Although Asustek’s Zephyrus Duo 15, the highlight of its Republic of Gamers line, is not the company’s first laptop with two screens, it is its first designed specifically for gaming. Nestled between the primary display panel and the keyboard, the secondary display, which Asustek calls the ScreenPad Plus, is angled
NO ILL EFFECT: Last month’s data mainly reflected deals made in February, when the spread of COVID-19 was still relatively mild in Taiwan, housing brokers said Housing transactions in the six special municipalities totaled 19,824 units last month, up 7.8 percent from a year earlier, brokers said, citing government data. Last month’s data mainly reflected deals made in February, when the pinch of the COVID-19 pandemic was not yet evident, they said. Taoyuan posted the largest improvement, with housing transactions soaring 36.6 percent year-on-year to 3,676 units, local government data showed. Taiwan Realty Co (台灣房屋) attributed the pickup to the completion of two presale residential projects in the municipality. Houses in Taoyuan have increasingly gained in popularity in the past few year years due to relatively affordable home prices and