Economists yesterday expressed mixed views toward comments by US Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan on skyrocketing crude oil prices on Friday as well as Tai-wan's economic outlook for next year after recent oil spikes.
\n"We must be cautious about Greenspan's optimistic remarks," Hsu Song-ken (許松根), a research fellow at Academic Sinica's Institute of Economics, said in a telephone interview.
\nWhile Greenspan said the surge in oil prices would not push the US into a recession as happened in the 1970s and the 1980s, he did not say that the current situation was not serious, according to Hsu.
\nOil prices have stirred worries about the global economy after pushing through US$50 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange last month, and jumping to a record high US$54.93 on Friday.
\n"Crude oil prices may not head down in the near future and persistently high oil prices are likely to impact Taiwan's export performance," Hsu said.
\nExports rose 24.2 percent year-on-year to US$128.29 billion in the first nine months of the year, the government said earlier this month.
\nBut Hsu said the growth may slow next year if oil prices continue to rise and drag down US economic growth. The US consumes around 20 percent of Taiwan-made goods, behind China's more than 30 percent. As a result, Taiwan's economic growth next year may decline in tamdem with the US' pace, he said.
\nThe Asian Development Bank forecast last month that Taiwan's economic growth could slow to 4.8 percent next year, down from 6 per-cent this year, citing factors including volatile oil price rises and interest rate hikes.
\nChen Po-chih (
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