Think tank lifts Taiwan’s 2017 GDP growth to 1.78%

Taipei-- The Taiwan Institute of Economic Research (TIER, ???), one of the country's leading think tanks, has raised its forecast for the country's real gross domestic product (GDP) growth to 1.78 percent for 2017, up by 0.13 percentage points from an earlier estimate made in November 2016.

TIER President Lin Chien-fu (???) said Wednesday while releasing the institute's updated forecast report that the increase is due to an improving global economy, rising oil and raw material prices, and foreign trade growth.

He said that according to forecasts recently released by several international institutions, including the International Monetary Fund, World Bank and Global Insight Inc., the global economic and trade performance in 2017 could be stronger than in 2016.

Given the brighter global economic outlook, higher oil and raw material prices, and a relative low base of comparison in 2016, the value of Taiwan's imports and exports is expected to grow in 2017, Lin said.

Therefore, the TIER forecast that Taiwan's export and import growth for this year could reach 3.89 percent and 4.25 percent, respectively, up 0.63 percentage points and 0.58 percentage points from its November forecast, according to Lin.

Meanwhile, the value of exports and imports is forecast to grow 4.19 percent and 4.52 percent, respectively, up by 1.56 percentage points and 1.30 percentage points from the earlier forecast.

The think tank has also raised its forecast for Taiwan's private consumption growth for 2017 to 1.91 percent, up 0.10 percentage points from its November forecast.

It has also hiked its forecast for the Consumer Price Index (CPI) growth to 1.40 percent from the previous forecast of a 1.30 percent rise.

Meanwhile, the median exchange rate of the Taiwan dollar to the U.S. dollar for the year is forecast at NT$32.40.

However, Gordon Sun (???), director of TIER's Economic Forecasting Center, said that Taiwan's economic growth for 2017 will hinge on the economic performance of the U.S. and China and domestic demand and investment.

The new U.S. administration's policies could also be an uncertain factor affecting Taiwan's economy, Sun added.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel