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GDP growth forecast at 4.3% for 2008: DGBAS

GDP growth forecast at 4.3% for 2008: DGBAS

Taiwan's gross domestic product (GDP) is expected to grow 4.3 percent year-on-year for 2008 and the inflation rate is likely to hit a 14-year high of 3.74 percent, the government's top statistical agency predicted Friday.
Tsai Hung-kun, chief of the third department of the Directorate General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics (DGBAS) , unveiled the agency's forecast on the country's economic prospects for 2008 and the coming year at a press conference.
Tsai said the record high increase in the consumer price index (CPI) was estimated based on crude oil prices estimated by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) . The average price of crude oil for 2008 was set by OPEC at US$112.9 per barrel.
For next year, the CPI annual growth will be only 1.91 percent, as OPEC crude oil price is forecast to rise by an average 3.3 percent for 2009, Tsai said.
Tsai explained that the CPI growth forecast for 2009 was made based on an expected average of US$116.6 per barrel in 2009 for OPEC crude, after the West Texas Intermediate (WTI) oil price dropped to US$120 per barrel the previous day from a record high of US$140 per barrel. WTI, also known as Texas Light Sweet, is used as a benchmark in oil pricing and the underlying commodity of New York Mercantile Exchange's oil futures contracts.
Thanks to the oil price drop, Tsai said, the hikes in the domestic prices of commodities, which began last year and reached a peak in the third quarter of this year, are expected to slow down in the fourth quarter.
The DGBAS also forecast the GDP will grow by 5.08 percent for 2009, falling short of the 6 percent projected by President Ma Ying-jeou in his presidential campaign ahead of the March 22 election.
DGBAS Director-General Shih Su-mei said the 2009 GDP growth could be revised upward if the government succeeds in attracting more private investments.


Updated : 2021-05-10 06:53 GMT+08:00