Mon, Jan 01, 2018 - Page 1 News List

Economy expected to keep slow, steady growth pace

Staff writer, with CNA

The nation’s economy will continue to grow at a slow, but steady pace of between 2 and 2.6 percent this year, major economic think tanks have forecast.

The nation’s economic performance last year was better than expected, helped by steady global growth and rising raw material prices, the Directorate-General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics (DGBAS) said.

GDP growth in the first three quarters of last year was 2.66 percent, 2.13 percent and 3.11 percent, respectively, and the nation’s exports hit a record US$28.88 billion in November, up 14 percent from a year earlier.

November’s export figures marked the 14th consecutive month of growth in outbound sales on an annual basis, according to the tallies compiled by the Ministry of Finance.

The ministry said it expects the growth trend to continue this year.

The nation’s economic growth should stay above 2 percent this year, major economic think tanks said.

Academia Sinica was the most optimistic, forecasting GDP growth of 2.43 percent for this year, compared with 2.31 percent forecast by the Taiwan Research Institute and 2.3 percent forecast by the Taiwan Institute of Economic Research.

Other predictions were 2.29 percent by the DGBAS, 2.27 percent by the Chung-Hua Institution for Economic Research (中華經濟研究院) and 2.2 percent by the Yuanta-Polaris Research Institute.

However, none of the projections exceeded this year’s growth rate, which the DGBAS estimated in November at 2.58 percent.

Academia Sinica attributed its lower forecast to a relatively high comparison base last year, even while expecting the economy to continue its recovery this year on the back of surging global demand and a steady increase in raw material prices.


There are still uncertainties that could negatively affect the nation’s economy this year, Academia Sinica’s Institute of Economics director Kamhon Kan (簡錦漢) said.

They include a potential trade war between the US and China, a US tax reform bill and the US Federal Reserve’s plan to downsize its balance sheet, which could put pressure on the bond market and cause interest rates to rise, Kan said.

Developments in cross-strait relations and the government’s economic policies would also affect the economy, Yuanta-Polaris president Liang Kuo-yuan (梁國源) said.

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