ADB upgrades forecast for Taiwan's 2021 GDP growth to 6.2%
Taipei, Sept. 22 (CNA) The Asian Development Bank (ADB) on Wednesday raised its forecast for Taiwan's 2021 gross domestic product growth to 6.2 percent, saying that the country's economic momentum is expected to continue into the second half of the year.
In its latest Asian Development Outlook report, the ADB said the new forecast was an upgrade from its estimate in April of 4.6 percent growth, but it maintained its projected 3.0 percent growth for 2022.
Taiwan saw robust economic growth of 8.3 percent in the first half of the year, the ADB said, citing a 22.4 percent year-on-year increase in exports on the back of high demand for emerging technologies such as 5G applications.
In addition, capital formation expanded by 8.9 percent in the first half, with massive investments in machinery, transportation equipment, 5G network development, and infrastructure for green energy, among other areas, the ADB said.
Private consumption, however, grew by only 1 percent in the first half, due to a domestic outbreak of COVID-19 in May, the ADB said.
Noting that about 40 percent of the Taiwan population had received a first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine as of mid-August, the ADB said the disease seemed to be largely contained, which will boost consumer confidence and bode well for private consumption.
"Growth will likely continue for the rest of this year," the ADB said, citing increased manufacturing activity in July, strong growth in industrial production, and solid export orders.
The downside risks include possible new outbreaks of COVID-19 variants and delays in the country's vaccine rollout, it said.
The ADB's 2021 forecast was more upbeat than that of Taiwan's Directorate General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics, which raised its estimate in August from 5.46 percent to 5.88 percent.
In the ADB's 2021 forecasts for other economies in East Asia, it maintained its 8.1 percent growth estimate for China, raised its forecast for Hong Kong from 4.6 percent to 6.2 percent, and upgraded its projection for South Korea from 3.5 percent to 4.0 percent.
For developing economies in Asia as a whole, the ADB downgraded its 2021 growth forecast to 7.1 percent from 7.3 percent but raised its estimate for 2022 to 5.4 percent from 5.3 percent.
"Developing Asia continues to grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic," the ADB said. "Renewed outbreaks are a cause for concern, amid uneven progress on vaccination."
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