Taiwan News, Staff Writer
2013-10-15 03:47 PM
The government’s most optimistic forecasts of more than 3 percent were ditched early on in the year, but several previous estimates by a variety of authoritative think tanks still put the Gross Domestic Product on course for growth between 2.14 percent and 2.52 percent.
In July, the CIER still predicted a figure of 2.28 percent for the year, but slower economic recoveries in Taiwan and around the world caused the think tank to tone down its forecast even further.
The group also mentioned the country’s domestic food safety problems and the political strife, which both caused a reluctance to consume and to invest.
Looking at the second half of the year, the CIER expected growth of 2.08 percent for the third quarter and a decline to 1.86 percent for the fourth and final quarter.
Unemployment for the year 2013 was likely to stand at 4.2 percent overall, while the Consumers Price Index might reach 0.96 percent, reports said.
The global economic recovery was proceeding at an extremely slow pace in combination with the United States government’s financial and budgetary problems and a new restrictive travel law in China, said CIER President Wu Chung-shu. The separate factors all exerted some level of influence on Taiwan’s manufacturing and service exports, he said.
Economists speaking at the CIER’s presentation of its latest figures were divided over whether the next forecast might see Taiwan’s 2013 GDP growth figure tumble below the 2-percent mark. Wu himself estimated that staying above 2 percent might just be possible, while other economists were hoping for an uptick in the fourth quarter which might lift the overall figure for the year back up in the direction of 3 percent.
Most predictions for 2014 have put economic growth for next year inside a range from 3 percent to 3.5 percent.
Taiwan’s top six business associations recently called for an end to political strife and for a renewed focus on solving the country’s numerous economic troubles. The government has been in the grip of a power struggle between President Ma Ying-jeou">Ma Ying-jeou and Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng since early September, when prosecutors announced they were investigating the latter for alleged influence peddling.