Sat, Jan 13, 2018 - Page 12 News List

HSBC forecasts slower but stable GDP growth in 2018

Staff writer, with CNA

The nation is expected to continue to benefit from a global economic recovery and report a 2.3 percent increase in GDP this year, compared with an expected 2.5 percent increase last year, HSBC Holdings PLC forecast yesterday.

HSBC Private Bank managing director and head of investment strategy for Asia Fan Cheuk Wan (范卓雲) told a news conference in Taipei that the economy is expected to grow at a “stable” pace this year, despite a slower increase last year.

Exports are expected to keep pushing up the nation’s GDP growth this year on the back of increased global demand, Fan said.

Analysts have agreed that the nation would see moderate growth this year due to a relatively high comparison base last year.

The Directorate-General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics (DGBAS) in November last year forecast that the nation would see a 2.58 percent increase in GDP last year and would post a 2.29 percent increase this year, up from a 1.41 percent increase in 2016.

The DGBAS is expected to update its GDP growth forecast next month.

While the nation is expected to report GDP growth of more than 2 percent for the second consecutive year this year, the growth would be lower than the other three “Asian tigers,” Fan said.

Hong Kong’s economy is expected to grow 2.7 percent this year, Singapore’s by 2.7 percent and South Korea’s by 2.6 percent, Fan said.

China, the world’s second-largest economy, could see GDP growth of 6.7 percent this year, the same pace as last year, HSBC said.

With the continued growth in the global economy and ample liquidity, as well as an improvement in corporate earnings around the world, Fan said she is upbeat about the performance of equity markets worldwide this year.

Meanwhile, the US Federal Reserve is likely to implement interest rate increases at a slower pace this year by raising its key rates only twice, while the US economy is expected to grow 2.4 percent this year after expected growth of 2.3 percent last year, Fan said.

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