Central bank Governor Perng Fai-nan (彭淮南) yesterday said Taiwan should keep a more positive attitude toward regional economic integration and that the nation needs to raise its economic momentum.
“Taiwan’s economy is still recovering, but the momentum is not strong,” Perng said in a legislative question-and-answer session.
Moreover, China’s economic structure is changing, which may drag down Taiwan’s export sector, he said.
Exports unexpectedly dropped by 7 percent last month from a year earlier and Perng said the four-day Mid-Autumn Festival holiday was the main seasonal factor, adding that exports this month may show a rebound.
However, the central bank head expressed his worries that Taiwan’s financial industry may see its development hindered if the legislature does not pass the cross-strait service trade agreement before the end of this legislative session.
Perng did not specify if Taiwan’s economic growth is capable of reaching 2 percent this year, saying only that forecasts by 18 domestic or foreign economic institutes are for about 2.2 percent GDP growth this year.
Meanwhile, he reiterated that people should watch out for possible interest rate hikes, as housing loans have accounted for more than 30 percent of household income in Taiwan.
The central bank’s latest statistics, released yesterday, showed outstanding balances on housing loans and construction loans for last month, both reaching their highest-ever levels.
Construction loans increased 0.48 percent to NT$1.486 trillion (US$50.44 billion) from August, while housing loans were also up 0.48 percent to NT$5.541 trillion, the data showed.