Taiwan GDP growth forecast cut possible, will remain above 4%: DGBAS

03/28/2022 03:54 PM
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Chu Tzer-ming (朱澤民), minister of the Directorate General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics. CNA photo March 28, 2022
Chu Tzer-ming (朱澤民), minister of the Directorate General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics. CNA photo March 28, 2022


Taipei, March 28 (CNA) The head of Taiwan's official statistics bureau said Monday that his agency could lower its forecast for the country's economic growth in 2022 from the current 4.42 percent, but expressed confidence that growth would remain above 4 percent.

At a legislative hearing, Chu Tzer-ming (朱澤民), minister of the Directorate General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics (DGBAS), cited the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine as the main reason for the possible adjustment.

According to Chu, the DGBAS' most recent 2022 growth forecast was issued on Feb. 24 -- the day that Russia invaded Ukraine -- and therefore did not reflect the economic impact of the war.

"If the current situation continues, we might have to cut [the GDP growth forecast]. But it would be relatively small in scale," Chu said.

"Based on current data, Taiwan is likely to hit its 3 percent target for economic growth in the first quarter, and should have no problem maintaining 4 percent growth for the year," he added.

Meanwhile, Chu said the annual consumer price index (CPI) increase could hit the 2.4-2.6 percent range when the DGBAS issues its next forecast in May, up from 1.93 percent which it projected in February.

The CPI, one of the most widely used indicators of inflation, measures the percentage change in prices for a range of common consumer goods and services, either on a yearly or monthly basis.

On the issue of monetary policy, Chu said Taiwan's central bank would likely need to keep pace with expected U.S. interest rate hikes this year, in order to avoid capital outflows or inflows of hot money due to rate differences.

Earlier this month, Taiwan's central bank raised its key interest rates by 0.25 percentage points, marking its first increase in seven quarters and following a similar move by the U.S. Federal Reserve.

(By Pan Tzu-yu and Matthew Mazzetta)

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