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Taiwan's economic growth in 2015 lowest in six years

2016/01/29 15:42:17

Taipei, Jan. 29 (CNA) Taiwan's economy grew at its slowest pace in 2015 since the global financial crisis battered the country in 2009, according to figures released by the Directorate-General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics (DGBAS) on Friday.

Taiwan's gross domestic product (GDP) rose 0.85 percent last year, below the 1.06 percent forecast by the DGBAS in November, because of negative growth in the fourth quarter for the second consecutive three-month period.

The last time annual growth was this low was in 2009, when Taiwan's GDP fell 1.57 percent.

The country's economy contracted by an estimated 0.28 percent in the fourth quarter, 0.77 percentage points below the DGBAS forecast in November because of slower-than-expected exports and domestic private consumption, said DGBAS senior specialist Wang Shu-chuan (王淑娟).

After seasonal adjustments, however, Taiwan's GDP grew 0.79 percent in the final quarter of the year, indicating momentum toward a modest rebound.

DGBAS senior inspector Huang Wei-chieh (黃偉傑) said exports in U.S. dollar terms fell 13.94 percent in the fourth quarter, with exports of all major items registering a decline.

Huang attributed the fall to weakening growth momentum, the drawing down of inventories in electronics supply chains, the emergence of China's red supply chain and declines in agricultural and industrial commodity prices.

The DGBAS estimated that private consumption grew 1.64 percent in the fourth quarter, contributing 0.86 percentage points to overall economic growth.

Kao Shien-quey (高仙桂), deputy head of the National Development Council, said private consumption has gradually rebounded and the economy has returned to stability.

But because of plunges in crude oil prices and an economic slowdown in China, uncertainty around the world still exists, Kao cautioned.

(By Chen Cheng-wei and Lilian Wu)