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Worst of Taiwan's economic situation past: think tank

TAIPEI -- The worst of Taiwan's economic situation has passed and the country is expected to show better performance in 2013, a local think tank said yesterday.

The economy seemed to bottom out in August and began to improve in September, said Liang Chi yuan, chairman of the Taipei-based Chung-Hua Institution for Economic Research.

“Everyone is too pessimistic,” Liang said at a forum on economic recovery, citing government statistics that show good signs of an improving economy.

The industrial production index has posted positive growth for four consecutive months since July, according to the latest statistics.

In addition, September exports rose 10.9 percent from a year ago to US$27.17 billion, ending a six-month year-on year declining streak, while export orders, which are an indicator of shipments in the next one to three months, also gained strength in September and October.

Although the European debt crisis and the slow recovery of the U.S. economy might affect Taiwan's economy, “there will always be solutions,” Liang said, adding that the public should have more confidence.

Shieh Chin-ho, publisher of the local Chinese-language economic weekly Business Today, which organized the event, supported Liang's view, saying that the stock market is at “a relatively low level,” especially compared with foreign ones.

“There are many stocks worth investment,” Shieh said, adding that it is investor sentiment that is dragging down the local bourse.

Shares on the Taiwan Stock Exchange closed up 220.25 points, or 3.09 percent, at the day's high of 7,326.01 Friday, on turnover of NT$84.13 billion (US$2.89 billion).

Later that day, the government adjusted its economic growth forecast upward to 1.13 percent for 2012, after nine consecutive downward revisions this year.

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