GDP growth slows to 2.8%
The economy grew at the slowest pace since 2014 in the first quarter as weaker global demand and trade tensions weighed on exports. GDP rose 2.8 percent from a year ago, down from a revised 3.6 percent in the fourth quarter, the National Economic and Social Development Council said yesterday. The expansion was in line with the Bloomberg survey estimate of 2.8 percent. The council said growth wouldprobably come in at 3.3 to 3.8 percent this year.
Chinese investment plunges
Chinese investment in Australia has fallen to its lowest level in five years, new research shows. After hitting a peak of A$15.8 billion (US$10.4 billion) in 2016, Chinese firms invested A$4.8 billion in the country last year, the Australian National University said on Monday. Researchers said the data would fuel concerns that strained political ties between Beijing and Canberra are hurting the economic relationship.
Debts a moderate risk: Fed
The private sector’s mounting debts pose a “moderate” risk to the world’s largest economy, US Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said on Monday. With corporate debts reaching historic highs relative to the size of the economy, public comment has run the gamut, Powell said, either warning of grave danger or waiving off such threats as “nothing to worry about.” The truth was “likely somewhere in the middle,” Powell said, according to a copy of remarks prepared for a speech in Florida.
GDP growth beats forecast
The export-reliant economy still posted solid growth in the first quarter, with GDP rising an annualized 3.8 percent from the prior quarter, higher than the government’s earlier projection of 2 percent, as construction rebounded. Compared with a year ago, GDP rose 1.2 percent. The Ministry of Trade and Industry said it saw “pockets of strength” in the economy this year from the services industry. It narrowed its growth forecast range for this year to 1.5 to 2.5 percent from 1.5 to 3.5 percent previously.
Japan, India eye Colombo
The governments of Japan, India and Sri Lanka have agreed to develop a container terminal at the Port of Colombo, which has attracted major investment from China under its Belt and Road initiative, a Japanese newspaper reported. The three are to sign a memorandum of understanding in the coming months to deepen the east container terminal at the newly expanded south part of the Port of Colomboit and develop a facility to allow large container ships to enter, Nikkei Asian Review reported without citing its sources.
Tesla falls on profit worry
Tesla Inc shares fell 3.7 percent on Monday after an analyst at WedBush said there seems to be mixed signals on demand for the electric automaker’s Model 3, which could make it harder for the company to turn a profit in the next couple of quarters and beyond. Tesla shares are down 50 percent since September last year, with concerns about demand for its Model 3 in the US at the forefront. The company lost US$702.1 million in the first quarter, among its worst quarters in two years, as sales tumbled 31 percent.
STEPPING UP: The firm has also asked employees to work in split shifts from this week and to halt all but essential overseas business travel from next month Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) has implemented a remote work policy for employees not on production lines in an attempt to curb the spread of COVID-19, the world’s largest contract chipmaker said yesterday. This is the first time in the Hsinchu-based company’s history that it has launched a large-scale remote work policy, joining global technology companies, such as Apple Inc and Google, that encourage employees to work from home. The chipmaker has also asked employees to work in split shifts from this week, it said. As the number of virus infections continues to climb worldwide, TSMC has urged employees to halt unnecessary
A two-hour drive south of Amsterdam in Veldhoven, workers decked out head-to-toe in protective gear toil in vast assembly halls. Before entering the inner sanctuary of the facilities, they meticulously layer on masks, gloves and special socks. A single speck of dust or a hair can have devastating effects on production. The result of all this painstaking process is an environment that is 10,000 times more purified than outside. As COVID-19 grips the world, it might just be the safest place to work right now. The teams belong to ASML Holding NV, which holds a de facto monopoly on the industry of
DBS Bank Ltd yesterday hacked its GDP growth forecast for Taiwan this year to 0.9 percent, down from its estimate of 2.3 percent two months earlier, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic and increasing financial market volatility. The bank’s latest forecast was even lower than London-based IHS Markit Ltd’s estimate of 1 percent, while other research institutes’ projections range from 1.6 percent to 2.6 percent. Taiwan’s economic momentum is being negatively affected by the pandemic, DBS said. The rapid spread of the disease from Asia to Europe and the US has dampened the bank’s previous expectation of a “V-shaped” global rebound in the
DOWNSIDE RISKS: Firms have a ‘very low’ chance of boosting investment returns in the next two years, making it hard for them to improve their capitalization, an analyst said Taiwanese life insurers wanting to improve their capital structure face strong headwinds this year, given prolonged low interest rates and economic impacts derived from trade protectionism and the COVID-19 pandemic, Taiwan Ratings Corp (中華信評) said on Friday. The local life insurance sector also still has high asset risks and such risks are susceptible to market volatility, the local arm of Standard & Poor’s Global Ratings said. Since last year, major financial holding companies — including CTBC Financial Holding Co (中信金控), Cathay Financial Holding Co (國泰金控) and Shin Kong Financial Holding Co (新光金控) — have announced plans to raise fresh capital to