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Domestic economy remains sluggish, key indicator shows

2015/10/27 20:32:28

Taipei, Oct. 27 (CNA) Taiwan's economic indicators flashed a "blue" light for the fourth consecutive month in September, indicating a sluggish economy, the National Development Council (NDC) said Tuesday.

The overall composite score of the business monitoring indicators was 14 points, same as the previous month and the lowest since May 2012. It was also the fifth time that Taiwan's key economic indicator flashed a blue light this year.

The indicator first flashed a "blue" light in April, followed by a "yellow-blue" light when the overall score rose to 18 points in May.

The council employs a five-color system to gauge the country's economic performance, with "blue" (9-16 points) indicating a sluggish economy, "yellow-blue" (17-22) representing an economic slump, "green" (23-31) denoting a stable growth, "yellow-red" (32-37) referring to a heating economy, and "red" (38-45) pointing to an overheated economy.

Meanwhile, the trend-adjusted leading index in September was 97.07, down 0.52 percentage points from August, falling for the 14th consecutive month. The trend-adjusted coincident index dropped 0.76 percentage points from the previous month to 96.61, registering the 11th consecutive monthly decline.

Wu Ming-huei (吳明蕙), director of the NDC's Economic Development Department, said it was hard to determine whether the economy was in the trough of the business cycle, since the leading indicator had been falling for months.

But the composite score of the monitoring indicators was unchanged from August so there is a chance of improvement in the fourth quarter, Wu said.

Many international agencies have forecast that the global economy will improve next year and that Taiwan's exports may rise on demand during the Christmas shopping season in Europe and North America, Wu pointed out.

She said year-end promotions by department stores and the launch of new cars in the Taiwan market may help boost the domestic economy, although a survey by National Central University showed a drop in consumer confidence in October for the sixth consecutive month.

(By Chen Cheng-wei and Kuo Chung-han)