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Taiwan tops Asian Tigers in purchasing power-based GDP growth
Central News Agency
2014-03-12 10:27 PM
Taipei, March 12 (CNA) Taiwan's economic growth may have ranked second last year among the Four Asian Tigers, but President Ma Ying-jeou noted Wednesday that in terms of purchasing power parity (PPP)-based growth, Taiwan comes in first. Speaking in his capacity as chairman of the ruling Kuomintang, Ma told a meeting of his party that Taiwan's PPP-based gross domestic product (GDP) growth stood at 1.29 percent for the period of 2008-2013, surpassing growth in South Korea, Hong Kong and Singapore. The figure is more reflective than the number for GDP growth based on market exchange rates, Ma said. Taiwan's official figures for GDP growth over the six-year period is 2.91 percent, according to a report the same day by National Development Council Minister Kuan Chung-ming, putting it second among the Asian Tigers. "This is not just us feeling good about ourselves. It's been calculated" by the International Monetary Fund, he said. Instead of traditional exchange rates, which can be manipulated by governments, PPP compares a given country's currency to another country's by examining how much of each currency is needed to buy an identical amount of a specific good or service. One popular informal measure of PPP is the relative cost of a McDonald's Big Mac across different countries to help determine whether a currency is over- or under-valued. Ma said that Taiwan's official per-capita GDP of US$21,000 would come out to US$39,000 using PPP rates, illustrating the difference in the two ways of calculating growth. He also noted that prices in Taiwan are cheaper than in South Korea and Japan, and said that local inflation is "only half or even one-third of that in neighboring countries." (By Lee Shu-hua and Scully Hsaio)
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