IMF raises Taiwan's GDP growth forecast for 2021 to 4.7%

04/06/2021 08:39 PM
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Washington, April 6 (CNA) The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has raised its forecast for Taiwan's gross domestic product (GDP) growth for 2021 to 4.7 percent, up 1.5 percentage points from its most recent estimate late last year.

In the IMF's latest World Economic Outlook report issued Tuesday, titled "Managing Divergent Recoveries," the Fund's chief economist Gita Gopinath wrote that despite continued uncertainty around the COVID-19 pandemic, economies across the world had shown a "stronger than anticipated rebound."

As a result, she said, the IMF was projecting a stronger global economic recovery compared with its last forecast in January.

Global economic growth is projected to be 6.0 percent in 2021 (up 0.5 percentage points from the previous forecast) and 4.4 percent in 2022 (up 0.2 percentage points), after an estimated historic contraction of 3.3 percent in 2020.

As relates to Taiwan, the report predicted that its economy would grow by 4.7 percent in 2021, up 1.5 percentage points from the 3.2 percent growth it forecast last October, and that it would grow at a rate of 3.0 percent in 2022.

The estimate was slightly higher than the 4.64 percent annual GDP growth that Taiwan's Directorate General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics (DBGAS) forecast in February and the 4.53 percent growth predicted in March by Taiwan's central bank.

Meanwhile, Taiwan's 3.1 percent GDP growth in 2020 put it first among economies in the Asia Pacific, followed by Vietnam with 2.9 percent growth and China with 2.3 percent growth.

Among other economic indicators, the report predicted that Taiwan's consumer price index (CPI), a main gauge of inflation, would rise 0.9 percent in 2021 and 1.2 percent in 2022, while the unemployment rate would be 3.8 percent in both years.

According to Taiwan government figures, the country's CPI (which measures the prices of goods relative to a year before) rose 1.37 percent in February while the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 3.73 percent.

Of the other economies comprising the "Four Asian Tigers," the gross domestic product of South Korea, Singapore and Hong Kong contracted, respectively, by 1.0 percent, 5.4 percent and 6.1 percent in 2020, the report said.

According to the IMF forecast, the same three economies are expected to grow at rates of 3.6 percent, 5.2 percent and 4.3 percent in 2021, and by 2.8 percent, 3.2 percent and 3.8 percent in 2022.

The IMF typically publishes its World Economic Outlook reports twice per year, in September/October and April.

In January 2021, the Fund released a report updating its forecasts for major world economies and regions, but it did not contain specific information on Taiwan.

(By Chiang Chin-yeh and Matthew Mazzetta) enditem/ls

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