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Cathay raises Taiwan '14 GDP growth forecast

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Taiwan's economic prospects appear brighter than before amid a warming global economy, Cathay Financial Holding Co. (國泰金控) said Friday in an upward revision of its economic growth forecast for the country.

The financial service provider adjusted its forecast for Taiwan's gross domestic product (GDP) growth this year to 2.98 percent, up slightly from a previous projection of 2.93 percent, according to the Central News Agency (CNA).

“There is still a good chance Taiwan's GDP growth can reach 3 percent this year on the back of improving external demand,” it said.

Taiwan has better economic prospects, as the United States and Europe are recovering steadily and China has set its economic growth target at 7.5 percent, it added.

CNA reported that Cathay Financial raised its forecast in line with other research institutes.

Last month, the Directorate General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics also raised its forecast for the country's economy to 2.82 percent from an earlier projection of 2.59 percent that it made last November.

In January, the Taiwan Institute of Economic Research, a leading think tank, also raised its forecast for Taiwan's economic growth in 2014 to 3.17 percent, 0.06 percentage points higher than the 3.11 percent it forecast last November.

Despite strengthening signs in the global economy, Yuanta-Polaris Research Institute, another economic think tank in Taiwan, said in late February that it remains cautious about Taiwan's outbound trade in 2014, even though the government has raised its economic growth forecast on projections of higher exports.

In a research report, Yuanta-Polaris said Taiwan is encountering fiercer-than-ever competition in the global market and is unlikely to return to the significant export growth of the past despite a recovery in global demand. Yuanta-Polaris said the revised forecasts for economic and export growth appear limited, indicating that it remains to be seen whether Taiwan's economy will benefit from an improvement in exports.

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Cathay Financial (國泰金控) Chief Investment Officer Sophia Cheng (程淑芬), center, announces a revision to Taiwan's 2014 gross domestic growth, surging upward to 2.98 percent from the earlier prediction of 2.93 percent. She said that there is still a good chance that Taiwan's GDP growth can reach 3 percent this year on the back of improving external demand. (CNA)

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