NDC chief confident Taiwan's 2020 GDP growth will top 1.56%

10/21/2020 09:12 PM
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CNA file photo
CNA file photo

Taipei, Oct. 21 (CNA) Kung Ming-hsin (龔明鑫), minister of the National Development Council (NDC), said on Wednesday that Taiwan's gross domestic product (GDP) growth for 2020 is likely to top 1.56 percent, the government forecast in August, citing newly released economic data.

Asked by Lai Jui-lung (賴瑞隆), a lawmaker from the ruling Democratic Progressive Party, to comment during a Legislative Yuan hearing on the 2020 GDP growth, Kung said a new high for Taiwan's export orders in September, among other favorable economic data, has boosted the likelihood that the local economy will rise more than 1.56 percent this year.

A day earlier, the Ministry of Economic Affairs announced that Taiwan's export orders for September rose 9.9 percent from a year earlier to US$50.03 billion after a 13.6 percent year-on-year increase in August, marking the seventh consecutive month in which the country's export orders grew from the previous year.

In addition, Kung said, the Chung-Hua Institution for Economic Research (CIER) gave its own forecast that day, saying that the local economy will rise 1.76 percent in 2020 on the back of growing exports and domestic consumption.

"I think Taiwan has a good chance of seeing GDP growth surpassing 1.56 percent in 2020," Kung said.

The Directorate General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics (DGBAS) is scheduled to announce an update on Taiwan's GDP growth for 2020 and 2021 on Nov. 27.

In the August forecast, the DGBAS said Taiwan's economy is expected to grow 3.92 percent.

Kung said that if the 2020 growth tops 1.56 percent to raise the comparison base, the 2021 growth could be compromised to some extent, but there is no doubt that the local economy will improve next year.

Last week, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) raised its forecast for Taiwan's GDP for 2020 to zero, a significant upgrade from an earlier estimate of a 4 percent contraction made in April. At that time, Kung said the IMF appeared too cautious about Taiwan's economy, adding the country's economy deserves more study by the organization.

In response, Lai asked the NDC to strengthen communications with the IMF so as not to affect international evaluation of Taiwan and foreign investment in the country, which Kung promised to do.

(By Pan Tzu-yu and Frances Huang)

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