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May 26, 2017

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1.68% GDP boost forecast for 2017

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Taiwan's economy is expected to grow at a slightly higher rate next year compared to 2016, Taiwan's top research body said.

Academia Sinica's Institute of Economics forecast that the economic growth rate for 2017 will be 1.68 percent. According to the forecast, economic performance in developed and developing countries, as well as emerging markets, will stabilize, which will fuel the country's exports and investment.

The research body forecast that the real economic growth rate for 2016 will be 1.23 percent.

Academia Sinica, the nation's highest academic research organization, said in a report on the economic outlook for 2017 that the domestic economy in the first half of 2016 did not show remarkable improvement.

But exports rebounded in the second half of the year, buoyed by demand for smart products, which led to investment by the nation's manufacturing industry.

The highest point of growth in 2017 is expected to come in the first quarter, at 2.25 percent. The remaining three quarters will record growth rates of 1.92 percent, 1.48 percent and 1.14 percent, respectively, the institute forecast.

Academia Sinica research fellow Ray Chou (周雨田) said Taiwan's economy will see "warm but fluctuating" (乍暖還寒) trends for growth in 2017 as developed and emerging economies gradually stabilize, bringing positive changes to Taiwan's exports as well as foreign investment. Chou is optimistic that Taiwan could post an annual growth rate of 2 percent in 2017. If the government can roll out its polices to stimulate domestic demand as planned, it could amount to a 0.3 percent surge in the expected growth rate, Chou said.

Academia Sinica said variables facing Taiwan next year include the impact of U.S. President-elect Donald Trump's new Asia policies on Taiwan's global trade strategy, the risk caused by the rise of populism in Europe, the long-term slowdown of economic growth in China and U.S. Federate Reserve interest rate hikes.

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