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Government signs signal weak economy for 5th consecutive month (update)

2012/04/27 19:22:26

Taipei, April 27 (CNA) Taiwan's economy continued to be affected by the gloomy global outlook in March, government indicators showed Friday, although the economic prospects are expected to improve from the second quarter.

The Cabinet-level Council for Economic Planning and Development's composite index of monitoring indicators fell to 14 in March from 15 recorded the previous month, marking the fifth consecutive month in which the economy had flashed a blue light indicating a sluggish economy.

The composite index is on a scale of between nine and 45, with the range of 9-16 representing a blue light, the lowest level of the index.

The council uses a five-color system to describe the state of the economy, with red, yellow-red, green, yellow-blue and blue representing overheated, warm, stable, cool and sluggish, respectively.

Hung Jui-bin, director-general of the council's Department of Economic Research, attributed the decline of the index to the falling sales index of wholesale, retail and food services.

The other eight sub-indices remained unchanged, he noted at a press conference.

Hung said the domestic economy continued to exhibit weak performance in the financial, trade, manufacturing and consumption sectors, but added that business prospects "are likely to gradually improve" amid the improving global economy.

Citing forecasts by local and global research institutes, Hung said the global economy will revive, and Taiwan with it.

"Taiwan's economic performance in April is unlikely to be worse than that of March," he said.

However, he noted that the economic progress chart will not show a sharp v-turn, but will indicate a more gradual improvement.

(By James Lee)