IMF raises Taiwan GDP growth forecast for 2018, 2019

2018/10/09 12:04:40 fontsize-small fontsize-default fontsize-big
IMF raises Taiwan GDP growth forecast for 2018, 2019

Washington, Oct. 8 (CNA) The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has raised its forecasts for Taiwan's gross domestic product (GDP) growth in 2018 and 2019 while lowering its projection for global economic growth amid trade tensions between the U.S. and China.

In its latest World Economic Outlook report released on Monday, the IMF revised its forecast for Taiwan's 2018 GDP growth to 2.7 percent, up 0.8 percentage points from its previous estimate in April.

The IMF forecast was similar to the 2.69 percent growth projected by Taiwan's Directorate General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics.

Taiwan's projected GDP growth for 2019 was also raised by 0.4 percentage points by the IMF to 2.4 percent, though that remained below the DGBAS's forecast of a 2.55 percent increase.

According to the IMF, Taiwan's consumer prices are forecast to grow 1.5 percent in 2018 and 1.3 percent in 2019, compared with the 1.52 percent and 0.93 percent increases forecast by the DGBAS.

Taiwan is the only economy among the four Asian Tigers -- a group of economies Taiwan often benchmarks itself against -- to have its growth forecasts raised by the IMF for both years.

The IMF put South Korea's GDP growth at 2.8 percent and 2.6 percent in 2018 and 2019, respectively, from 3.0 percent and 2.9 percent previously.

It revised Hong Kong's growth forecast for 2018 upwards by 0.2 percentage points to 3.8 percent but cut the 2019 growth forecast by 0.3 percentage points to 2.9 percent.

Singapore's 2018 GDP growth projection remained unchanged from an earlier IMF forecast at 2.9 percent, but its 2019 growth forecast was lowered by 0.2 percentage points to 2.5 percent.

Over the longer term, the IMF forecast Taiwan's GDP to grow 1.9 percent in 2023, while pegging growth in South Korea, Singapore and Hong Kong at 2.6 percent, 2.6 percent and 3.1 percent, respectively.

Worldwide, the IMF said it cut its forecast for global GDP growth by 0.2 percentage points to 3.7 percent for both 2018 and 2019.

"Uncertainty over trade policy is prominent in the wake of U.S. actions (or threatened actions) on several fronts, the responses by its trading partners, and a general weakening of multilateral consultation on trade issues," IMF chief economist Maurice Obstfeld said in the report.

"Amid the trade uncertainties, financial conditions are tightening for emerging market and developing economies as they adjust to progressive interest rate hikes by the Federal Reserve and an impending end of asset purchases by the European Central Bank," Obstfeld said.

The IMF has left its forecasts for U.S. growth in 2018 unchanged at 2.9 percent but lowered its estimate for 2019 by 0.2 percentage points to 2.5 percent.

As for China, the IMF forecast GDP growth at 6.6 percent in 2018, unchanged from its previous estimate, but lowered its 2019 growth forecast by 0.2 percentage points to 6.2 percent.

(By Rita Cheng and Frances Huang)
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