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Head of economic think tank claims inflation not problem for Taiwan

Tsao admits prices are clearly rising though

Tsao Tien-wang makes a speech at an event in 2020. 

Tsao Tien-wang makes a speech at an event in 2020.  (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Tsao Tien-wang (曹添旺), the head of the Chung-Hua Institution for Economic Research (中華經濟研究院), has claimed that while the prices of individual commodities in Taiwan have risen, the increasing burden on consumers does not yet strictly qualify as inflation.

Speaking at an event on Monday (Nov. 23), Tsao said he has observed what is happening at vegetable markets across the country and admits that prices are indeed rising, according to a CNA report.

However, he went on to say the field of economics has a rather strict academic definition of inflation, which is that there must be a general, continuous increase in prices of goods and services in an economy.

According to this definition, Tsao said that Taiwan has witnessed an increase in the price of individual commodities, but it is not yet inflation.

Tsao’s comments came as Taiwan’s government is taking preventative action to guard against rising prices. The government has already decided to freeze the prices of water, electricity, and natural and bottled gas until at least the end of next March.

In addition, a task force has been set up at the Cabinet to monitor developments and recommend immediate action in response to any price gouging and hoarding.

In October, Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) warned that instances of illegal profiteering amid the price hikes will not be tolerated.