GDP growth may not attain 1 percent level, says DGBAS
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.