The government will present a short-term economic stimulus plan within two weeks, Council for Economic Planning and Development minister Kuan Chung-ming (管中閔) said yesterday.
The proposed plan to boost private consumption comes amid speculation that the Directorate-General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics (DGBAS) may revise downward its annual GDP growth estimate following lackluster growth in the first quarter.
Kuan said the government was considering whether to allocate part of its budget for the second half of the year to the proposed stimulus plan, so as not to increase its total expenditure for the year.
The Cabinet will announce the details of the plan, which will not include tax cuts and consumer vouchers, Kuan told the legislatures’ Economics Committee.
Deputy DGBAS Minister Luh Dun-jin (鹿篤瑾) said at the meeting that it is possible that the agency will downgrade its GDP forecast on May 24, citing declining exports and imports last month. In February, DGBAS estimated that the economy would expand 3.59 percent this year.
Kuan said that though consumer sentiment was low, he still forecast that the economy would post quarterly improvements amid improving global conditions.
Meanwhile, Central Bank Deputy Governor Yang Chin-long (楊金龍) yesterday said the New Taiwan dollar’s exchange rate had not undercut local exporters’ competitiveness, citing bank statistics.
As of Friday last week, the yen had fallen 21.01 percent against the US dollar since September last year, when Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe assuumed power, while the NT dollar fell 0.91 percent against the greenback and the South Korean won gained 1.3 percent in the same period, he said.