TIER lowers economic growth forecast


TAIPEI–Taiwan Institute of Economic Research (TIER, 台灣經濟研究院) on Monday revised its forecast for the domestic economic growth for 2016 to 1.57 percent, down by 0.27 percentage points from its estimate in early November.

It was the most pessimistic 2016 economic forecast for Taiwan among the major local forecasting agencies.

TIER estimated quarterly growth of 0.29 percent, 1.42 percent, 2.13 percent and 2.37 percent, respectively, this year.

Gordon Sun (孫明德), director of TIER’s economic forecasting center, said Taiwan’s first-quarter exports are unlikely to be promising as there is low demand for energy, metals and electronic products, which account for 60 percent of Taiwan’s total exports.

Chung-Hua Institution for Economic Research and Taiwan Research Institute have both maintained a 2 percent growth projection for the whole of 2016.

The Cabinet-level Directorate General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics (DGBAS) has forecast that Taiwan’s GDP will double this year to 2.32 percent, while Yuanta-Polaris has projected 1.93 percent growth, and Academia Sinica 1.74 percent.

Sun said TIER’s downward adjustment was made in light of the sluggish world and domestic economies. Many international forecasting institutions have also cut their forecasts for the 2016 global economy, he noted.

Against such a background, it will take time for Taiwan’s economy to recover after the government transitional period, which has been in effect since the Jan. 16 presidential and legislative elections, he said.

Taiwan’s economy, however, is likely to improve in the second half of the year if oil prices go up again and demand from mainland China increases, Sun said.