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Taiwan economy flashes 'green light' for 2nd straight month

The composite index of monitoring indicators for March fell 1 point from a month earlier to 23 but remained at the lower end of the 23-31 point range, flashing a healthy green light

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File Photo (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (CNA) -- Taiwan's economy flashed a "green light" for the second consecutive month in March, pointing to steady growth, driven by strong exports, according to the National Development Council (NDC).

In a statement Friday, the NDC said the composite index of monitoring indicators for March fell 1 point from a month earlier to 23 but remained at the lower end of the 23-31 point range, flashing a healthy green light.

The NDC uses a five-color system to gauge the country's economic performance, with blue indicating economic recession, yellow-blue representing economic sluggishness, green denoting stable growth, yellow-red referring to a warming economy, and red pointing to economic overheating.

Wu Ming-hui (吳明蕙), head of the NDC's Department of Economic Development, told the press that Taiwan's economy benefited from solid global demand as the world economy continued to grow.

Although the index fell slightly in March, the domestic economy continued to show stable growth, Wu said.

Under such favorable circumstances, she said, it was no surprise that several think tanks raised their forecasts for Taiwan's 2018 economic growth.

The Taiwan Institute of Economic Research (TIER) was the latest one, increasing its 2018 growth forecast by 0.11 percentage points to 2.45 percent earlier this week.

The NDC data was in line with a report released Friday by the Directorate General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics (DGBAS) on Friday, which showed that Taiwan's GDP grew 3.04 percent in the first quarter of the year, beating the DGBAS' estimate in February of a 2.77 percent increase.

Among the nine factors of the NDC composite index, the sub-indexes for six of them -- money supply, stock prices, employment in the non-farm sector, exports, revenue in the wholesale, retail and food beverage sectors, and business sentiment in the manufacturing sector -- moved higher in March.

In particular, the sub-index for exports flashed a green light in March, improving from a yellow-blue in February, while the sub-indexes for stock prices and business sentiment in the manufacturing sector continued to flash green, the NDC said.

The other three factors -- industrial production, imports of machinery and electrical equipment, and sales posted by the local manufacturing sector -- moved lower in March, the data showed.

The sub-index for industrial production continued to flash a green light, while the sub-index for imports of machinery and electrical equipment changed from a yellow-red in February to green in March, the NDC said.

Wu said that while optimism remains toward the domestic and global economy, there are concerns over a possible trade war between the United States and China and other geopolitical tensions, which could send ripples through the global financial markets and compromise the growth of the world economy.


Updated : 2021-06-19 17:30 GMT+08:00