Think tank cuts '13 GDP growth forecast
CNATAIPEI -- The Yuanta-Polaris Research Institute said Wednesday that it has cut its forecast of Taiwan's gross domestic product (GDP) growth for 2013 by 0.09 percentage points to 2.38 percent, citing weaker private investment.
September 26, 2013, 12:05 am TWN
The latest revision, made after a quarterly review, lowered an earlier forecast made in June, when the think tank revised its March estimate for GDP growth downward by 1.18 percentage points.
The think tank said its latest downgrade of the 2013 GDP growth forecast came after a downward revision of its projection of Taiwan's private investment growth in 2013 to 4.66 percent from an earlier estimate of 5.66 percent.
In contrast, it raised its growth estimate for Taiwan's merchandise and service exports for the year to 4.78 percent from the previous 4.61-percent growth estimated in June.
Yuanta-Polaris Research Institute President Liang Kuo-yuan said that while Taiwan's exports are likely to grow at a moderate pace this year, domestic demand, and especially private domestic investment, is expected to stay relatively weak.
After considering all the factors, he said, the think tank decided to make small revisions to its previous growth forecasts.
Still, the revised GDP growth forecast by Yuanta-Polaris was higher than the government's 2013 growth estimate of 2.31 percent made in August after it previously forecast 2.40-percent growth for the year in May.
According to government statistics, Taiwan's economy grew 1.62 percent and 2.49 percent year-on-year in the first and second quarters, respectively.
Yuanta-Polaris said Taiwan's economy is expected to grow 2.75 percent and 2.60 percent year-on-year in the third and fourth quarters, respectively.
For the year as a whole, local private consumption is expected to grow 1.37 percent in 2013, up from an earlier estimate of 1.23 percent, and inflation is forecast at 1.09 percent, down from a previous estimate of 1.26 percent, the think tank said.
Yuanta-Polaris also projected Taiwan's GDP growth for 2014 at 3.45 percent, slightly higher than the government's estimate of 3.37 percent growth.
Liang said the local economy is expected to climb out of its current doldrums next year, but negative factors, including stagnant wages, lower investment and an aging society, will continue to affect the economy.
Yuanta-Polaris said Taiwan's GDP growth is expected to hit 3.17 percent, 3.65 percent, 3.28 percent and 3.69 percent in the first to fourth quarters next year.