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Taiwan’s 2019 GDP growth forecast to hit 2.46%: DGBAS

Taiwan’s 2019 GDP growth forecast to hit 2.46%: DGBAS

Balking a forecast from a world body on Taiwan’s economy in 2019 amid a weakening global economy, the government is confident that the domestic economy will expand by more than 2 percent this year.

Giving a report at a legislative hearing Wednesday, Budget, Accounting and Statistics (DGBAS) Minister Chu Tzer-ming (朱澤民) said Taiwan’s economy will expand 2.46 percent this year, citing a forecast made by his agency in August.

The figure is well ahead of the latest forecast released Tuesday by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) that put Taiwan’s 2019 gross domestic product growth rate at 2 percent.

Answering questions from ruling Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Wu Ping-jui (吳秉叡) as to why there is such a big gap between the two forecasts, Chu said the forecast made by his agency will be more accurate because it holds more precise data on the country’s economy than the IMF.

The 2 percent growth rate for Taiwan’s economy made by the IMF was down by 0.5 percentage points from a previous forecast that it made in spring. The world body also trimmed its forecast for Taiwan’s 2020 economic expansion by 0.6 percentage points to 1.9 percent.

According to Chu, the government’s forecast of a 2.46 percent growth was based on an improving domestic economy in the first and second quarters. Taiwan’s economy is estimated to grow 2.67 percent and 2.9 percent in Q3 and Q4, respectively, he forecast.

Meanwhile, President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) was also optimistic about the economy, predicting that it will grow steadily for some time, including during the second half of this year, driven mainly by increased local investment by Taiwan businesses returning from overseas, especially from China.

According to the IMF, it has slashed Hong Kong’s economic growth rate this year by 2.4 percentage points to 0.3 percent, while the economies of South Korea and Singapore are estimated to expand by 2 percent and 0.5 percent, respectively.