Taiwan Q4 GDP up 2.58%, beating forecast

Taipei-- Taiwan's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew 2.58 percent in the fourth quarter of 2016 from the same period a year earlier, beating an earlier forecast of 2.37 percent in November, according to preliminary data released by the statistics bureau on Wednesday.

After seasonal adjustments, the Q4 growth rate was up 0.47 percent from the previous quarter and 1.89 percent year-on-year, according to a preliminary estimate by the Directorate General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics (DGBAS).

In the wake of the better than expected GDP figure in the fourth quarter, Taiwan's economy is expected to have grown a minimum of 1 percent in 2016, the directorate said.

The rough estimate of GDP growth for the first three quarters of 2016 was about 1.40 percent, higher than an earlier estimate of 1.35 percent, according to the DGBAS.

The higher than expected GDP growth for the October-December period largely reflected stronger than expected private consumption, investment and import/export growth, DGBAS specialist Huang Wei-chieh (???) said.

Although government spending in the fourth quarter fell 1.09 percent, private consumption grew an estimated 1.27 percent from the previous year, which contributed to a 2.52 percent expansion in domestic demand for the quarter, according to Huang.

The strong local demand came mainly from investments in advanced manufacturing processes by the semiconductor sector and fleet expansion by domestic airlines.

In addition, domestic enterprises posted a 30.4 percent increase in capital equipment imports for the quarter, the biggest increase since the first quarter of 2011, the GDBAS said.

Taking exports and imports into account, net foreign demand lifted Taiwan's GDP growth by 0.37 percentage points, the DGBAS said.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel