Taipei, Taiwan's gross domestic product (GDP) rose 1.72 percent from a year earlier in the first quarter, falling short of the 1.82 percent growth projected in February, the Directorate General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics (DGBAS) said Tuesday.
The lower than expected figure resulted largely from weaker than expected private consumption during the period, when sales posted by cars, motorcycle and information communications device vendors fell, even as revenue posted by online vendors increased, the DGBAS said.
First quarter GDP growth was also down slightly from the 1.78 percent increase seen in the fourth quarter of 2018 and was the lowest quarterly growth figure since hitting 1.22 percent in the second quarter of 2016, data compiled by the DGBAS showed.
Private consumption rose 1.45 percent in the first quarter from a year earlier, compared with a previous estimate of a 1.79 percent increase, and boosted overall GDP growth by 0.86 percentage points, the DGBAS said.
Government consumption during the threemonth period fell 3.37 percent from a year earlier, which dragged down overall GDP growth by 0.48 percentage points, according to the DGBAS.
The agency said capital formation growth hit 6.80 percent in the first quarter, beating an earlier estimate of a 5.35 percent increase, as semiconductor suppliers and construction firms increased their investments.
The higher capital formation helped raise overall GDP growth by 1.39 percentage points, the DGBAS said.
At a time of a weakening global economy and the traditionally slow season for economic activity in the first quarter, exports of merchandise and services grew only 1.20 percent from a year earlier, compared to a 1.47 percent increase in imports, the DGBAS said.
That resulted in net exports dragging down Taiwan's overall GDP growth by 0.05 percentage points in the first quarter, the DGBAS said.
In February, the DGBAS lowered its GDP growth forecast for 2019 as a whole to 2.27 percent, from 2.41 percent in November.
The agency said it will release an updated GDP growth forecast on May 24.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel