Taiwan 2017 GDP growth forecast raised to 2.58 percent

Taipei-The Directorate General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics (DGBAS) has raised its forecast for Taiwan's gross domestic product growth for 2017 because of higher-than-expected exports amid solid global demand.

The agency raised its forecast for 2017 GDP growth to 2.58 percent from a previous estimate of 2.11 percent made in August.

The upward revision came after Taiwan's economy grew at a 3.10 percent clip in the third quarter because of strong outbound sales, beating an expected 1.89 percent rise, DGBAS head Chu Tzer-ming (???) said at a news conference.

The DGBAS also raised its forecast for Taiwan's GDP growth in 2018 by 0.02 percentage points to 2.29 percent, Chu said, attributing the lower rate of growth in 2018 to a relatively high base of comparison in 2017.

In 2016, Taiwan's economy grew only 1.41 percent, according to an update released by the DGBAS on Friday.

Chu said the upward revisions of its GDP forecasts for 2017 and 2018 showed Taiwan's economy is experiencing a stable recovery, especially in terms of exports.

Real growth in exports of merchandise and services is expected to hit 6.63 percent for 2017, up from an earlier estimate of a 2.61 percent increase, as global demand, in particular for high-tech devices, has remained strong, the DGBAS said.

Rising agricultural and industrial raw material prices have also given Taiwan's exports a boost, the DGBAS said.

Private consumption will be more in line with expectations and grow about 2.14 percent in real terms in 2017, 0.25 percentage points higher than an earlier forecast, the DGBAS said.

The upward revision was due to an improving job market and a booming stock market, according to the agency.

Private investment, however, is only expected to grow 0.09 percent in 2017 after being adjusted for inflation, down 1.61 percentage points from an earlier estimate because of a relatively high base of comparison in the local semiconductor sector.

Capital formation for 2017 is expected to rise 0.92 percent, a downward revision of 1.21 percentage points.

For 2018, the DGBAS said real growth in merchandise and service exports is expected to hit 2.63 percent, while private consumption is expected to grow 2.08 percent in real terms, the DGBAS said.

It also forecast real private investment growth at 2.83 percent and real capital formation growth at 3.78 percent in 2018.

Chu said the 2018 forecast indicates that his agency expects domestic demand to play a bigger role than exports in boosting Taiwan's economy.

The DGBAS said inflation in Taiwan remains tamed, forecasting the consumer price index for 2017 and 2018 to rise 0.62 percent and 0.96 percent, respectively.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel