Minister of Economic Affairs John Deng (鄧振中) yesterday said it would be difficult for the nation to maintain its GDP growth rate above 1 percent this year, after the latest economic data showed the economy remained sluggish last month.
Last month, the Directorate-General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics (DGBAS) forecast that the nation’s GDP would increase by 1.56 percent this year from last year.
“Given the challenging global environment, of course it will be difficult, but the ministry will do whatever it can to reach that goal,” Deng told lawmakers during a meeting of the Economics Committee at the legislature in Taipei.
This week, the ministry reported the fifth consecutive month of a year-on-year decline in export orders and the fourth consecutive month of a year-on-year drop in industrial production.
The ministry’s statistics also showed that domestic commercial sales had fallen for the sixth consecutive month last month.
On Wednesday, JPMorgan Chase & Co revised down its GDP growth forecast for this year.
“The full-year GDP growth forecast now stands at 0.6 percent, compared with the previous estimate of 1 percent. Besides, the forecast for next year’s GDP growth has also been revised down to 1.5 percent from [a] previous forecast of 2.1 percent,” JPMorgan Hong Kong-based economist Grace Ng (吳向紅) said in a report.
There is also speculations that the DGBAS is likely to further trim its economic growth forecast.
Deng said there is not much the ministry can do to boost the nation’s economic growth in the short term.
“What we could do at the moment is to increase the number of trade shows in Taiwan, attracting more foreign investment,” Deng said.
“The ministry also plans to invite more Taiwanese companies to join international trade shows to increase their exposure in global markets,” he said.
In the long term, the ministry would continue to help Taiwanese companies to raise their competitiveness, and encourage them to invest more in research and development, he said.
“The measures require a longer time to bring benefits to the companies,” he said.
When asked by lawmakers if there has been an increase in the number of employees taking unpaid leave this year, Deng said: “There has not been an obvious increase.”
As of this month, there were 946 employees at 21 companies taking unpaid leave, he said, citing data from the Ministry of Labor.
According to the labor ministry’s statistics, there were 337 workers taking unpaid leave in the same period last year.
Deng said the ministry has sent officials to the companies, offering consultations and advice to help the firms increase their competitiveness.
SIZE MATTERS: Medium-sized hotels that do not have the support of parent groups are more vulnerable and are forced to take action, a REPro Knight Frank researcher said About 50 hotels across Taiwan are seeking to exit the market as they succumb to the bleak business outlook amid international travel restrictions imposed to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. Yomi Hotel (優美飯店) on Minsheng E Road, Sec 1, in Taipei is seeking to transfer ownership with an asking price of NT$950 million (US$32.15 million) and a pledge for a lease contract that guarantees a 3 percent return. The budget hotel, with room rates that start from NT$1,400 per night, maintains normal operations, but has been struggling since March, when the government placed restrictions on inbound and outbound travel. Occupancy rates for hotels in
With the US dollar expected to weaken in the next 12 months due to near-zero interest rates, investors should consider purchasing US corporate bonds, Standard Chartered Bank Taiwan Ltd (渣打台灣銀行) said on Thursday. The bank said that the US Federal Reserve since last month has been buying bonds issued by US companies to curb default rates. The US dollar is forecast to be weaker against the pound, the euro and the yen, as well as the Canadian dollar, the Swedish krona and the Swiss franc, as the greenback lacks high investment returns after the Fed in March slashed the benchmark interest rate
A Bollywood actor’s face tattooed on his arm, Sandeep Bacche’s devotion shocks few in India where stars enjoy semi-divine status, but even there the hallowed silver screen might be losing its shine to streaming services and pandemic fears. “Whenever things get better and theaters begin operations, I will watch three movies a day for sure just as a way to celebrate,” said the Mumbai rickshaw driver, who is recovering from the virus himself. However, others might not join the party. With cinemas shut for months due to a COVID-19 lockdown, and little prospect they will reopen soon, frustrated Bollywood producers have turned to
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電), the world’s largest contract chipmaker, is to issue NT$13.9 billion (US$469.5 million) in unsecured bonds to help fund its plan to expand production capacity, it said on Friday. In a Taiwan Stock Exchange filing, TSMC said the bonds would comprise three tranches: NT$5.7 billion payable over five years, NT$6.3 billion over seven years and NT$1.9 billion over 10 years. The interest rates would be 0.58 percent on the five-year bonds, 0.65 percent on the seven-year ones and 0.67 percent on the 10-year tranche, TSMC said. Capital Securities Corp (群益金鼎證券) is to serve as the main underwriter in