Academia Sinica raises Taiwan’s 2018 GDP growth forecast

Taipei, Academia Sinica, the top research institution in Taiwan, said Friday that it has upgraded its forecast for Taiwan's gross domestic product (GDP) growth for 2018 at a time of global economic recovery.

The institution raised its forecast for Taiwan's 2018 GDP growth to 2.65 percent from an earlier estimate of 2.43 percent made in December 2017 after the country made a strong showing in the first quarter, when the local economy grew 3.02 percent from a year earlier due to strong outbound sales.

So far, Academia Sinica has issued a more upbeat prediction about Taiwan's GDP growth for 2018 compared with other think tanks and even the government.

The institutions other than Academia Sinica, such as the Taiwan Institute of Economic Research, the Chung-Hua Institution for Economic Research, the Yuanta-Polaris Research Institute, and Fubon Financial Holding Co., have forecast that Taiwan's economy will grow 2.48 percent-2.62 percent in 2018.

The government, which raised its forecast in late May, said the country's economy is expected to grow 2.60 percent.

Ray Chou (???), a research fellow at Academia Sinica, said the global economy has been recovering at a better-than-expected pace starting from the second half of last year, and Taiwan, an export-oriented economy, has been one of the beneficiaries of the trend.

Chou said the country's GDP is expected to grow at around 3 percent in the first half of this year, while the growth for the second half is expected to range between 2.2 percent and 2.3 percent, a slower increase, due to a relatively high comparison base over the same period of last year.

For the whole of 2018, Academia Sinica said Taiwan's merchandise and service exports are expected to grow 4.03 percent from a year earlier, while merchandise and service imports are forecast to rise 4.91 percent.

Private investment is expected to grow 3.34 percent in 2018, with capital formation likely to rise 3.98 percent from a year earlier, while private consumption is forecast to grow 2.41 percent, according to Academia Sinica.

Chou said that although the world's economy remains haunted by trade tension between the United States and China, which has created some risk for the global recovery in the second half of this year, the situation will not continue to worsen, as both sides are expected to take into account the possible consequences resulting from a full-blown trade war.

The economist said that as the impact from the trade friction between Washington and Beijing is likely to be capped, Academia Sinica appeared more upbeat about Taiwan's economic growth than other think tanks.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel