Cabinet forecasts 3.8 percent GDP growth for 2013

By Shih Hsiu-chuan  /  Staff reporter

Fri, Dec 28, 2012 - Page 3

The Cabinet yesterday approved a forecast of 3.8 percent GDP growth next year, with Council for Economic Planning and Development (CEPD) Minister Yiing Chii-ming (尹啟銘) saying that the figure was “no exaggeration.”

When the council revealed the forecast last week, Yiing promised to give up his year-end bonus if the target was not reached next year.

Under the development plan for next year approved by the Cabinet, the council projected an unemployment rate below 4.1 percent and consumer price index of no more than 2 percent.

At a press conference yesterday, Yiin said that the forecast was determined based on cautious assessments of supply and demand factors and views offered by officials at the Directorate-General of Budget, Accounting, and Statistics and at the central bank, as well as academics.

“The 3.8 percent GDP growth target is not unreachable, and it’s not just me saying so,” Yiin said, citing as references the World Bank ‘s prediction of 4 percent GDP growth in Taiwan next year, the Asia Development Bank’s 3.8 percent and the IMF’s 3.9 percent.

Cathay Financial Holding Co (國泰金控) has estimated that the nation will see 3.88 percent GDP growth next year, while Yuanta-Polaris Research Institute (元大寶來研究院) forecast the GDP would expand 3.85 percent, Yiin said.

The council predicted that between next year and 2016, the average economic growth rate will be 4.5 percent annually, the consumer price index will be kept under 2 percent and the unemployment rate will be reduced to below 3.9 percent by 2016.

Premier Sean Chen (陳冲) said that the forecast was challenging and reflected the Cabinet’s ambition and determination to deliver economic recovery.