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Economics minister optimistic about economy despite OECD warning

Economics minister optimistic about economy despite OECD warning

Taipei, Sept. 10 (CNA) Minister of Economic Affairs Shih Yen-shiang said Friday that he remains optimistic about Taiwan's economic fundamentals for 2010 despite a warning of a slowing global economy from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).
Local economic momentum is continuing into the third quarter, he said, and is expected to keep going in the fourth quarter on the back of robust exports and increasing investments.
Shih said that despite the fact the OECD lowered its global growth forecast, "I remain optimistic about the local economy for 2010." In an economic assessment report released Thursday, the OECD said the global economy is losing strength and suggested further stimulus measures may be necessary to avoid another recession.
The OECD also cut its growth forecast for the seven richest economies to 1.5 percent for the second half of this year from 1.75 percent four months ago.
Shih said the government forecasts Taiwan's 2010 gross domestic product (GDP) will grow 8.24 percent from 2009, an estimate upgraded from 6.14 percent, after the island recorded 13.71 percent and 12.53 percent year-on-year increases in GDP for the first and second quarters, respectively.
The Ministry of Finance said Taiwan's exports are likely to hit a record high of US$272.9 billion in 2010, with the amount for the second half of this year expected to reach US$141 billion.
The Ministry of Economic Affairs said the island's exports are expected to hit another monthly high in September on a buying spree in China ahead of the prolonged holiday for the Oct. 1 National Day and in the U.S. and Europe for the upcoming Christmas season.
In August, the government upgraded its estimated 2010 private consumption growth to 2.78 percent from 1.99 percent, while lifting the forecast for 2010 private investment growth to 23.40 percent from 18.38 percent.
(By Lin Shu-yuan and Frances Huang)