Economic indicators flash another weak ‘yellow-blue’

By Camaron Kao  /  Staff reporter

Tue, May 28, 2013 - Page 13

An index of economic monitoring indicators last month flashed a “yellow-blue” light for the eighth consecutive time, the longest sequence on record, as the economic recovery remained weak, the Council for Economic Planning and Development (CEPD) said yesterday.

The council uses a five-color spectrum to gauge domestic economic health, with “blue” signaling recession, “green” steady growth and “red” overheating. It also uses “yellow-blue” to indicate a transition between recession and growth, and “yellow-red” transition between growth and overheating.

The latest report showed the score of composite monitoring indicators — which takes into account both leading and coincident indicators — was 17 last month, down 1 point from 18 in March, because of declining exports.

The index of leading economic indicators, which is used to gauge short-term economic outlook, rose 0.4 percent to 103.8 points last month from a month earlier, the report said.

The index’s annualized six-month rate of change, which provides a more accurate forecast of the business cycle in the near term, climbed 0.08 percentage points to 6.53 percent last month from a month earlier, the report said.

The index of coincident indicators, which reflects monthly economic conditions, declined 0.4 percent to 97.9 points last month, according to the report.

“The economy is still struggling,” Hung Jui-bin (洪瑞彬), the director-general of the council’s economic research department, told a press conference.

“Although the index of leading indicators rose last month, the growth was weak and the index of coincident indicators declined. The growth momentum was not enough to make the score for composite indicators rise,” Hung said.

However, Taiwan’s economy will still improve quarter on quarter in view of positive economic indicators in major economies and rising stock markets in these countries so far this year, he said.

Furthermore, the government’s upcoming stimulus policies and rising investment in the semiconductor industry and telecommunications companies will also help boost the local economy, he added.