Gov’t cuts 2013 growth forecast to less than 2%

By John Liu ,The China Post

TAIPEI, Taiwan — Taiwan will see 1.74 percent growth in GDP this year, a 0.57-percent downward adjustment from the previously estimated 2.31 percent, the Directorate-General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics (DGBAS) said yesterday. The forecast is the lowest among those made by other domestic and international research institutes. The DGBAS adjusted its fourth-quarter growth forecast from 2.61 percent to 1.22 percent. First-quarter, second-quarter and third-quarter growth forecast were adjusted to 1.44 percent, 2.69 percent and 1.66 percent, respectively, by the DGBAS. The institute forecast GDP per capital in 2013 to be US$20,850.

Overestimation in Exports Exports in the third quarter were overestimated by US$1.8 billion, while exports in the fourth quarter were adjusted downward by US$3.7 billion, DGBAS section chief Joshua Gau (高志祥) said. A drop in exports was one of the main causes behind the downward GDP adjustment, DGBAS Minister Shih Su-mei (石素梅) said.

While the economy gradually recovers around the globe, market demand as well as prices of panels have dropped, hurting exports, Shih said. In addition, with the petrochemical industry performing its annual maintenance, and with competition across the strait steadily growing, Taiwan’s exports may not perform as well as previously expected, the minister added. Exports of goods in the fourth quarter are estimated to total US$75.9 billion, a 2.03-percent drop year-on-year. With exports of mineral products and optical instruments seeing decreases, total exports in goods declined 0.8 percent in the third quarter. Prior to the third quarter, exports had experienced growth for three consecutive quarters.