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Taiwanese confidence in economy growing: survey

TAIPEI--Taiwanese are growing more optimistic about their country's economic prospects, encouraged by gradual recoveries at home and abroad, according to the results of a survey by Cathay Financial Holding Co. (國泰金控) released on Tuesday.

The survey, which measures economic confidence, found that more people voiced optimism than pessimism over economic conditions by a 4.1-percentage point margin, reversing a 13.4-percent edge for the pessimists in January.

Survey respondents were also more optimistic than pessimistic toward Taiwan's future economic development by an 11.5 percentage point margin, up from a 2.4 percentage point edge in the previous month.

The two positive margins in February were the biggest in 10 months, Cathay Financial Holdings said in a report on the monthly survey.

Achilles Chen, a manager in Cathay's economic research department, said economic confidence in February has risen dramatically since last December, when pessimists over Taiwan's economic outlook outnumbered optimists by 24.4 percentage points.

Chen attributed the rise to a recovery both in Taiwan and in international markets, mainly in the United States and Europe.

Taiwan's economy grew 2.11 percent in 2013, and the government has forecast growth of 2.82 percent in 2014.

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