Wed, Apr 01, 2009 - Page 12 News List

Taiwan may bottom out ahead of world economy

By Jerry Lin  /  STAFF REPORTER

The government expects the nation’s economy to bottom out earlier than the global economy, which research firm Global Insight recently projected would hit bottom in the fourth quarter, the head of the Council for Economic Planning and Development (CEPD) said yesterday.

GROWTH

Citing Global Insight’s report released on March 14, CEPD Chairman Chen Tain-jy (陳添枝) said the global economy was forecast to contract 2.2 percent this year, with emerging Asian nations, led by China, being the only economies to show growth.

“From the CEPD’s perspective, we are more concerned about whether private consumption will return to its normal level after exports become more stabilized,” Chen said.

Chen said last week that he had seen signs of economic recovery — the rebound on the stock market and an improvement in export orders.

DOMESTIC DEMAND

Chen said yesterday that domestic demand would be the next indicator the CEPD pays attention to, with private consumption being the primary focus as it reacts quicker to changes in the economy than private investment. He said the economy would not improve until private consumption turns positive.

The CEPD’s forecast for the nation’s GDP this year remained unchanged yesterday, a contraction of 2.97 percent. Exports were predicted to contract 10 percent year-on-year in New Taiwan dollar terms and 20 percent in US dollar terms.

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