Taiwan raises 2018 economic growth forecast to 2.42%

2018/02/13 21:00:44 fontsize-small fontsize-default fontsize-big
Taiwan raises 2018 economic growth forecast to 2.42%

Taipei, Feb. 13 (CNA) Taiwan has upgraded its economic growth forecast for 2018 from 2.29 percent to 2.42 percent, citing growing domestic demand and an expected increase in exports of goods and services as the global economy continues to strengthen.

Chu Tzer-ming (朱澤民), head of the Directorate-General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics (DGBAS), said Tuesday that he expects steady domestic economic growth this year driven partly by the export momentum.

He said Taiwan's exports are projected to grow by an annual 4.54 percent this year amid increasing global demand for high-performance computing and automotive electronics.

However, "domestic demand will be the main driver of the economy growth this year," as private consumption is expected to increase as a result of the public sector wage hike, which the private sector most likely will follow, Chu said.

His forecasts closely mirrored those published Tuesday by the DGBS in its 2018 outlook report, which said that steady growth of the global economy and trade, coupled with demand for semiconductors in emerging areas such as the Internet of Things, will help drive Taiwan's exports this year.

Overall, Taiwan's exports of goods and services are expected to grow by an annual 1.98 percent this year, the bureau said, in its report.

The DGBAS also projected a 3.62 percent annual increase in private fixed capital formation in 2018, citing continued investment in semiconductor manufacturing and the government's measures to improve the investment environment and encourage innovative industries.

Real private consumption will grow by 2.45 percent, the DBGAS forecast, saying the growth will result mainly from higher employment and wages.

Taiwan's real gross domestic product (GDP) will grow by an annual 2.42 percent in 2018, the DGBAS said, revising its previous forecast upward by 0.13 percentage points.

Meanwhile, it said, the consumer price index (CPI) will increase by 1.21 percent this year, an upward revision of 0.25 percentage points, mainly reflecting higher oil prices and the likely effects of the recent cold weather.

In its preliminary estimate for the fourth quarter of last year, the DGBAS said the real GDP grew by 3.28 percent year-on-year, as it had predicted earlier in the year.

For the whole of 2017, Taiwan's GDP growth rate was 2.86 percent, 0.02 percentage points higher than expected, the DGBAS said.

(By Chen Cheng-wei and Elizabeth Hsu)

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