Taiwan lowers growth forecasts amid uncertainties

Taiwan’s statistical authorities on Wednesday lowered their forecasts for the island’s 2012 and 2013 economic growth rate amid uncertainties in the global economy, especially the ongoing sovereign debt crisis in Europe.

The island’s predicted GDP growth rate for 2012 was changed to 1.05 percent, 0.61 percentage points down from the figure predicted in August, local statistical authorities said in a report.

In 2013, the economy will grow at a rate of 3.09 percent, 0.58 percentage points lower than the previous estimate, the report said.

Although the U.S. economy and emerging economies have recently grown more steadily, Taiwan still faces many uncertainties, including the European sovereign debt crisis and a possible “fiscal cliff” in the United States, according to the report.

The global economy is unlikely to rebound strongly in the short-term, as there are heightened uncertainties about how different economies will tackle their problems and a pessimistic economic outlook held by businesses and consumers, it added.

Taiwan’s economy grew by 1.02 percent in the third quarter of the year, 0.97 percentage points lower than the August forecast.

The island’s per capita GDP is expected to hit 20,361 U.S. dollars in 2012 and 21,006 U.S. dollars in 2013.

Xinhua