Economy still flashing ‘green light’ but momentum weakens

Taipei-The local economy continued to flash a "green light," pointing to steady growth, but momentum weakened with an index gauging economic conditions falling month-on-month in October, the National Development Council (NDC) said Monday.

The NDC said the composite index of monitoring indicators reached 23 in October, down five from September, though the latest figure still remained in the "green light" range of 23-31.

The September index was revised down to 28 points from the previous reading of 30 by the NDC.

October is the third consecutive month the index has flashed a green light, data compiled by the NDC showed.

The council uses a five-color system to gauge the country's economic performance, with blue indicating economic recession, yellow-blue representing economic sluggishness, green denoting stable growth, yellow-red referring to a warming economy and red pointing to economic overheating.

Wu Ming-hui (???), head of the NDC's Department of Economic Development, told the press that since the composite leading indicator index, which is used to gauge economic outlook for the upcoming six-month period, moved higher in October for the fifth consecutive month, she remained cautiously optimistic about the local economy.

The composite monitoring index is comprised of nine factors, according to the NDC.

Of the nine factors, the sub-indexes for sales generated by the manufacturing sector, industrial production, revenue posted by retail/wholesale/food and beverage firms, business sentiment toward the manufacturing sector, and exports all moved lower month-on-month in October, the NDC said.

However, the sub-indexes for money supply, non-farm payroll, machinery and electrical equipment imports, and equity prices moved higher in October, the NDC added.

Wu said as the global economy has been recovering and in the wake of a move by the government to invest heavily in infrastructure, the NDC is upbeat about Taiwan's economy for next year.

Last week, the Directorate General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics raised its forecast for Taiwan's economic growth in 2018 by 0.02 percentage points from an earlier estimate to 2.29 percent.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel