Economy to gradually improve: MOEA minister


TAIPEI–Taiwan’s business prospects are expected to gradually rise this year on the back of the improving global economy, Economics Minister Shih Yen-shiang said Saturday.

“The performance in the second quarter is expected to be better than the first,” Shih told representatives from local small- and medium-sized businesses in Taipei, adding that the economy is very likely to bottom out in April.

Although Taiwan’s exports were down 4 percent in the first quarter from the same period a year ago, and domestic consumption was not as good as expected, Shih said the country’s economy is still expected to improve, as the global economy is picking up.

The European debt crisis has not worsened, while Japan is expected to exhibit better performance in its post-earthquake reconstruction period, and the United States is likely to experience an improved economy due to a presidential election this year, he explained.

China is taking steady strategies to maintain its economic growth, while the emerging markets continue to record moderate economic growths, Shih added.

The Cabinet-level Council for Economic Planning and Development also expressed optimism in late April despite its composite index indicating a sluggish economy in March.

Citing forecasts by local and global research institutes, Hung Jui-bin, director-general of the council’s Department of Economic Research, said the global economy will revive, and Taiwan with it.

“Taiwan’s economic performance in April is unlikely to be worse than that of March,” he said.

However, he noted that the economic progress chart will not show a sharp v-turn, but will indicate a more gradual improvement.