The Council for Economic Planning and Development (CEPD) yesterday set a target of 3.8 percent for the nation’s economic growth next year, citing an improved global economic outlook and help from government policies.
The council also forecast the nation’s economy would expand by 4.5 percent between next year and 2016 on average, Cheryl Tseng (曾雪如), the council’s planning director-general, told a press conference.
The council’s 3.8 percent growth rate, which translates into US$21,412 per capita GDP, was higher than the 3.15 percent forecast made by the Directorate-General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics (DGBAS) last month.
Tseng attributed the higher growth target to anticipated export demand and private investment resulting from the government’s plans to lure Taiwanese businesses back from China, among other policies implemented by the Ministry of Economic Affairs.
“The DGBAS has projected the nation’s private investment would rise 5.51 percent next year from this year. [However,] to achieve our target for economic growth, we need to create a 10 percent increase in private investment next year,” Tseng said, adding that achieving the 10 percent increase is “very challenging.”
The council has usually set higher economic growth targets than the national statistics bureau’s predictions because it said the targets represented objectives that the government is working toward.
In December last year, the council set a 4.3 percent growth target for the economy this year.
However, that figure has proven too optimistic and a target impossible to achieve.
Based on the latest forecast made by the DGBAS, the economy is likely to grow just 1.13 percent this year.
Over the next four years, Tseng said the averaged 4.5 percent growth target has taken into account the latest forecasts made by Global Insight, which forecast Taiwan would expand 4.38 percent on average over the period, and the IMF, which predicted the nation would grow 4.46 percent on average each year.
As for unemployment, Tseng yesterday said the government aimed to reduce the jobless rate next year to lower than 4.1 percent and drive it below 3.9 percent by 2016.
Last month, the DGBAS reported that the unemployment rate was 4.33 percent in October, edging up 0.01 percentage points month-on-month and 0.03 percentage points higher year-on-year.
The council also said the government was also aiming to maintain the inflation rate at levels below 2 percent every year over the next four years.
Consumer prices rose by a moderate 1.59 percent last month from a year earlier, the DGBAS said earlier this month.