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GDP downgrade 'within expectations': ministry

2012/08/17 23:12:54

Taipei, Aug. 17 (CNA) The Ministry of Economic Affairs said Friday that the downward revision of Taiwan's official economic growth forecast for 2012 to 1.66 percent was within expectations, and the agency vowed to do its utmost to boost the economy.

The ministry's announcement came after the government cut its annual GDP growth forecast earlier Friday for the eighth consecutive time. The estimate was 0.42 percentage points below the 2.08 percent growth estimated in July.

Falling exports were the main culprit behind the lower growth projection, after "worse-than-expected" export figures for July, according to the Directorate General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics.

July exports fell 11.6 percent from the same period a year earlier to US$24.8 billion. It was the fifth consecutive month that exports contracted on a year-on-year basis.

"(The Economics Ministry) is really concerned about the economic outlook, and we will do our utmost to boost exports and the economy," said Economics Minister Shih Yen-shiang.

The planned exports-boosting strategies include setting up new overseas offices and developing potential markets, he said.

Also, 26 "trade developers" will go to 29 cities in 26 countries to seek out business opportunities, according to the ministry, which hoped to see the strategies yield good results within two to three months.

(By James Lee)