Experts give mixed views on local economic outlook


TAIPEI — Experts invited to an economic symposium held by the Taiwan Institute of Economic Research expressed mixed views yesterday on Taiwan’s economic outlook for 2012.

Cheng Cheng-mount, an economist at Citibank Taiwan Ltd., expressed optimism toward the country’s economy, despite the fact that Taiwan’s exports in the first four months of the year fell 4.7 percent from the same period of last year to US$96.37 billion, while the value of export orders fell 3.52 percent in April from a year earlier.

“I’m still confident of Taiwan’s performance in the second half of the year,” said Cheng, adding that the country’s economy will improve in line with other major markets.

However, Chiou Jiunn-rong, an economics professor at National Central University, held a more bearish view toward the local economy, citing the country’s weak domestic demand, which he said will cast a shadow over the economic outlook.

“It is currently the government that is boosting and supporting the economy,” he said, adding that Taiwan’s economy is not likely to bottom out until the first quarter of 2013.