Economic Minister not bullish on local economy

By John Liu, The China Post

TAIPEI, Taiwan — Economic Affairs Minister Chang Chia-juch (張家祝) yesterday indicated his pessimism on the chances of Taiwan reaching 2-percent economic growth in 2013. In response to questioning at the Legislature yesterday, Minister Chang said that as private consumption weakened and exports underperformed in recent months, it would “require much work” to achieve the 2-percent GDP growth target set this year by the government.

Chang added that exports and private consumption in the rest of the year will be influential in determining the GDP of 2013. Manufacturing and Service Sectors Weakened Taiwan’s manufacturing and service sectors continued to weaken in October amid global economic uncertainties, according to a report released by the Taiwan Institute of Economic Research (TIER, 台經院) yesterday. Taiwan’s manufacturing index dropped 2.08 points in October to 95.91, while that of the service sector went down 0.82 points to 93.24, according to results of TIER’s October economic survey. The monthly manufacturing composite indicator posted a second consecutive monthly decline in October, while the service sector index dropped for the third consecutive month. TIER said that while the economies of the U.S. and the Europe are on a track to recovery, Asian countries’ economies have underperformed, affecting Taiwan’s exports to emerging economies. As a result, private consumption and investment have declined. The construction index was pegged at 93.96 in October, representing a 3.02-point increase over the previous month and ending a downward-slipping trend over four consecutive months. As major construction projects near completion at the end of the year, construction companies have started to receive payments, resulting in corresponding growth in the sector, TIER said. Survey of Local Businesses