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'Yellow-blue' indicator signals slow economic growth in November

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Taiwan's composite index of monitoring indicators flashed a yellow-blue light in November for the fifth consecutive month, reflecting sluggish economic growth, the Council for Economic and Development (CEPD) said on Friday.

Concurrently, Taiwan's consumer confidence level edged lower for the second consecutive month in December despite a significant rebound in confidence in the stock market, according to the results of a survey released Friday.

Vice director of the Planning Department under the CEPD Kao Shien-quey (高仙桂) told local media that the indicators could see green for 2014 on economic recovery.

In November, the Taiwan business indicators suggested that economic recovery would remain on the slow track. Among the indicators compiled by the Cabinet's CEPD, the trend-adjusted leading index increased by 0.19 percent, the trend-adjusted coincident index increased by 0.07 percent from the previous month and the overall monitoring indicator flashed the “yellow-blue” signal.

The council uses a five-light system to describe the state of the economy, with red indicating overheating, yellow-red representing fast growth, green showing stable growth, yellow-blue hinting at slow growth and blue representing negative growth.

The next release is schedule for Jan. 27, 2014.

Durable Goods Index Indicates Optimistic Sentiment

The latest consumer confidence index compiled by the Research Center for Taiwan Economic Development at National Central University was 78.22 in December, down 0.21 points from 78.43 in November.

All six measures used to gauge confidence fell in December, except for confidence in the stock market's prospects, which jumped 2.6 points to 71.6.

That figure, which is the highest level since September 2011, indicates that people have recovered their confidence in stock investment, the center said.

Confidence in durable goods purchases declined marginally by 0.25 points to 102.45 in December. The sub-index has remained above 100 for three consecutive months, indicating optimistic sentiment.

Central News Agency cited Dachrahn Wu, director of the center, to report that despite pessimism about the country's economic prospects, optimism about stock investment and durable goods purchases may be the forerunner of an improved economy.

Confidence in the local economy decreased significantly in December, dropping 1.85 points to 69.85.

Confidence in household finances was down 0.75 points at 72.2, confidence in domestic consumer prices fell 0.75 points to 47, and confidence in the job market dropped 0.3 points to 106.2.

Based on the survey's methodology, scores of over 100 generally indicate optimism, while those under 100 signal pessimism.

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Shoppers browse at an apparel store yesterday in Taipei. The Council for Economic Planning and Development (經建會) yesterday announced economic indicators flashed the “yellow-blue” signal in November, signifying that the pace of economic recovery remains tepid. (CNA)

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