Taiwan's GDP growth revised upward despite coronavirus pandemic

Stimulus vouchers to contribute 0.44% to economic growth: CIER

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Picking up Triple Stimulus Vouchers at the post office 

Picking up Triple Stimulus Vouchers at the post office  (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan’s expected Gross Domestic Product (GDP) can be revised upward for the first time thanks to the government’s “Triple Stimulus Vouchers” against the impact of the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19), a top Taiwanese think tank said Wednesday (July 22).

The unprecedented revision saw the island’s economy grow by 1.77 percent in 2020, compared to the 1.03 percent the Chung-Hua Institution for Economic Research (CIER) predicted in April. The new figure released Wednesday was the first upward revision by a Taiwanese think tank since the outbreak of the pandemic, going against earlier international forecasts of negative growth.

Even without the government campaign to boost domestic demand by launching a range of vouchers, the economy would still grow by 1.33 percent this year, CIER said. In other words, the “Triple Stimulus Vouchers” and related coupons promoting sports and arts would result in an extra growth of 0.44 percent, according to the CNA report.

The CIER saw two opposite movements in the economy, with a worsening of the pandemic overseas threatening Taiwan’s export performance, while the virus slowdown inside the country and the government’s stimulus measures are boosting the domestic sector.

Before the pandemic emerged earlier this year, economists had forecast Taiwan’s economy to grow at least two percent, with the return of Taiwanese investors from China trying to evade the fallout of United States tariffs on Chinese-produced goods a major contribution.