TIER raises 2017 GDP growth prediction above 2%

A leading economic think tank has raised its GDP growth projection for the year to above 2%. The Taiwan Institute for Economic Research (TIER) on Tuesday said it believes Taiwan's economy will grow by 2.04% for 2017. That's an increase of 0.26 percentage points from the institute's last prediction, in January.

TIER believes that the strongest economic performance will be in the first half of the year with a stronger export performance. The institute is more conservative however about growth momentum after June. It predicts 2.55% growth for Q1, 2.3% for Q2, 1.9% for Q3 and 1.47% for Q4.

TIER Director Gordon Sun said uncertainty over the performance of the next version of Apple's iPhone 8 is one factor behind the caution.

"The first [reason] is base factors. The second is that we are somewhat cautious on the iPhone 8. The third is raw material prices in the near future have no strength to keep climbing. These three factors make us more conservative about the second half of the year," Sun said.

In recent weeks two other think tanks, the Yuanta-Polaris Research Institute and the Chung-Hua Institution for Economic Research, also both raised their 2017 growth predictions above the 2% mark.

Source: Radio Taiwan International