Thu, Nov 28, 2013 - Page 13 News List

Indicators flash ‘yellow-blue’ again

By Camaron Kao  /  Staff reporter

The nation’s economic monitoring indicators flashed “yellow-blue” last month for the fourth consecutive month, indicating that economic strength remains weak, the Council for Economic Planning and Development (CEPD) said yesterday.

The score of monitoring indicators remained unchanged at 20 points last month compared to the revised figure a month ago, as the increase in the TAIEX was offset by a decline in the manufacturing sector, the council’s data showed.

The manufacturing composite indicator fell to 95.9 points last month from 98 points in September, Taiwan Institute of Economic Research reported recently.

“The performance of exports, trade and production are still lukewarm,” council chief secretary Kao Shien-quey (高仙桂) told a press conference.

It is normal to see indicators flashing “yellow-blue” for a sustained stretch, Kao said.

A “yellow-blue” light indicates that the economy is in the transition period between recession and growth, according to the council.

The coincident indicators, which reflect monthly economic conditions, rose 0.01 percent to 99.06 points last month from 99.05 points a month ago, reflecting a weak improvement of the economy, Kao said.

The index of leading economic indicators, which is used to gauge the nation’s short-term economic outlook, rose for the 14th consecutive month last month to 101.39 points, up 0.34 percentage points from 101.05 points in September, the council said.

Kao said exports in Taiwan are likely to rebound in the near future as the global economy moves in the right direction as shown by rebounding leading indicators for five major Asian countries — China, India, Indonesia, Japan and South Korea — in September after seven consecutive months of declines, Kao said.

Leading indicators of Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries rose for the 13th consecutive month in September, Kao said.

As improvement in exports would result in expansion in capital investment, the council was cautiously optimistic about the nation’s overall economic prospects, Kao said.

The consumer confidence index (CCI) was little changed last month at 78.43, slightly down 0.04 points from a month earlier, dragged by a relatively pessimistic outlook about the nation’s stock market, a National Central University survey showed yesterday.

The index gauges public expectations about the stock market’s performance, household finances, durable goods, job opportunities, consumer prices and also the economic outlook for the next six months.

The survey — which polled 2,426 people over the age of 20 between Tuesday and Friday last week — showed the public was uncertain over stock market and consumer price increases, while pessimism in the other four categories eased, according to the report issued by the university’s Research Center for Taiwan Economic Development.

The stock market subindex fell 2.4 points from a month earlier to 69 this month, followed by the subindex of consumer prices, which fell 0.4 points to 47.75 month-on-month, the report said.

Additional reporting by Amy Su

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