Thu, May 22, 2008 - Page 12 News List

Economy could surpass target: CEPD

By Jerry Lin  /  STAFF REPORTER

Council for Economic Planning and Development Chairman Chen Tain-jy (陳添枝) said yesterday that the government would aim to surpass its original economic growth target of 4.8 percent this year and to keep inflation at between 3 percent and 4 percent.

The domestic economy expanded 4.32 percent in the first quarter, trailing behind the council’s full-year target of 4.8 percent and President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) election promise of 6 percent economic growth.

Chen defended Ma’s promise, saying the 6 percent target did not refer to this year, but was a target average growth figure over the president’s four-year term.

Speaking at his first press briefing, Chen said that the government’s plan to expand domestic demand and private investment, as well as launch weekend direct cross-strait charter flights and allow more Chinese tourists to visit Taiwan, would at least help the domestic economy meet the council’s target of 4.8 percent growth this year.

With inflation rising 3.6 percent in the first quarter — surpassing the council’s estimate of 2.9 percent — Chen said that the government would work to contain inflation at 3 percent to 4 percent.

The Cabinet is expected to announce complementary measures today to provide subsidies to low-income families and public transportation in light of fuel price hikes next month.

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