HSBC forecasts Taiwan’s 2018 GDP growth at 2.3%

Taipei-HSBC, the London-headquartered banking group, said Friday that Taiwan is expected to continue to benefit from a global economic recovery and report a 2.3 percent increase in its gross domestic product (GDP) for 2018.

Fan Cheuk Wan (???), managing director of HSBC Private Bank and head of investment strategy for Asia, told the press in Taipei that exports are expected to keep pushing up Taiwan's GDP growth this year on the back of global demand.

However, the 2018 estimated figure will be eclipsed by an expected 2.5 percent increase for 2017, Fan said.

HSBC's forecasts on Taiwan's GDP growth for 2017 and 2018 were in line with government estimates made in November that said the country will report a 2.58 percent GDP rise in 2017, and a 2.29 percent increase in 2018, improving from 1.41 percent in 2016.

Fan said Taiwan's economy is expected to grow at a "stable" pace in 2018, despite a slower increase from a year earlier.

Market analysts have agreed that moderate growth for 2018 will reflect a relatively high comparison base compared with 2017.

While Taiwan is expected to report GDP growth of more than 2 percent for the 2nd consecutive year in 2018, its growth will be lower than the other three "Asian tigers."

According to Fan, Hong Kong's economy is expected to grow 2.7 percent this year, Singapore's by 2.7 percent and South Korea's by 2.6 percent.

The Directorate General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics is expected to update its forecast for Taiwan's GDP growth for 2018 and to report the 2017 growth in February.

Fan said that Taiwan's consumer price index is expected to grow 1.2 percent in 2018 after a 0.7 percent increase in 2017.

Fan said that China, the second-largest economy in the world, could serve as an anchor for economic growth in Asia.

According to HSBC, China's GDP is estimated to grow 6.7 percent in 2018, the same pace forecast for 2017.

With the continued growth in both global economy and ample liquidity, as well as an improvement in corporate earnings around the world, Fan said she is upbeat about the performance of equity markets worldwide in 2018.

Fan said that as inflation growth will remain stable in the U.S. market, the Federal Reserve is likely to implement a rate hike cycle at a slower pace by raising its key interest rates only twice this year.

She said the U.S. economy, the largest in the world, is expected to grow 2.4 percent in 2018 after an expected 2.3 percent in 2017.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel