Growth Forecasts Cut
“The economy is losing steam, but is not in a recessionary state,” Minister Chu Tzer-ming of the Directorate General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics told a mid-February news conference. He reported that DGBAS is now forecasting GDP growth for Taiwan of 2.27% this year, down from the 2.41% it was predicting last November. Chu said the major reason for the revision is the tariff dispute between the U.S. and China, as market uncertainties are causing companies to become more cautious about increasing capacity.
In late February, UBS Group similarly pared its growth forecast for Taiwan this year from the previous 2.6% to 2.3%.
The Central Bank’s latest balance-of-payments report showed a sharp 27.3% drop in the current-account surplus in the final quarter of 2018 due to a decline in exports. The current-account balance came to US$18.65 billion for the quarter, down from US$25.64 in the same period a year earlier.