GDP growth may not at­tain 1 per­cent level, says DGBAS

The China Post - - FRONT PAGE - BY ENRU LIN

Tai­wan’s eco­nomic growth may not be on track to reach 1 per­cent in 2015 af­ter a con­trac­tion in the third quar­ter, the Di­rec­torate-Gen­eral of Bud­get, Ac­count­ing and Sta­tis­tics ( DGBAS, ) said yesterday. In Au­gust, the sta­tis­tics agency re­vised down its an­nual gross do­mes­tic prod­uct (GDP) growth es­ti­mate from 3.28 per­cent to 1.56 per­cent, the low­est in six years.

DGBAS Min­is­ter Shih Su-mei ( ) yesterday said that a 1-per­cent growth rate would be “hard to achieve.”

Ex­ports, ex­port or­ders and in­dus­trial pro­duc­tion all posted worse an­nual declines in Au­gust com­pared to July, she said. Based on present data, Tai­wan is set to post neg­a­tive GDP growth in the third quar­ter, and may not achieve growth of 1 per­cent in 2015, ac­cord­ing to the min­is­ter.

Shih was speak­ing to Kuom­intang (KMT) Leg­is­la­tor Lai Shih-bao ( ) at a Fi­nance Com­mit­tee meet­ing (

) at the Leg­isla­tive Yuan. Shih said GDP growth should re­bound slightly in the fourth quar­ter and that the Ex­ec­u­tive Yuan was mak­ing great ef­forts to up­grade Tai­wan’s eco­nomic struc­ture.

‘Darts are more ac­cu­rate’: Law­maker

The DGBAS had

forecast an­nual GDP growth of 3.78 per­cent in Fe­bru­ary. In May, the pre­dic­tion was low­ered to 3.28 per­cent; in Au­gust, to 1.56 per­cent.

Dur­ing an in­ter­pel­la­tion ses­sion on Thurs­day, KMT Leg­is­la­tor Lo Ming- tsai (

) panned the forecast mech­a­nism. “Throw­ing darts would be more ac­cu­rate,” he said.

Shih said the DGBAS’ down­ward ad­just­ments had been re­ac­tions to dra­matic changes in the global econ­omy.

The DGBAS, like all agen­cies that i ssue eco­nomic growth pro­jec­tions, up­dates its forecast for an­nual growth based on the latest vari­ables, she said.

The world eco­nomic out­look has also been down­graded re­cently, and Tai­wan is a smallscale open econ­omy that is highly vul­ner­a­ble to ex­ter­nal fac­tors, she told Lo.

Dur­ing the in­ter­pel­la­tion ses­sion, she stressed that the forecast cuts do not mean the for­mula is im­pre­cise.

In 2014, the agency’s forecast had been only 0.4 of a per­cent­age point shy of the real GDP growth, she said.

The Min­istry of Fi­nance, which pub­lishes monthly ex­port f i gures, has said Tai­wan’s eco­nomic down­turn is driven mainly by slug­gish ex­ports amid ris­ing Chi­nese com­pe­ti­tion and a slow­down in the growth of ma­jor economies.

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