Taiwan Economic Forecast

Taiwan Economic Outlook

December 13, 2018

Economic momentum appears to have continued waning in the fourth quarter—after logging a marked deceleration in the third quarter—according to available economic data. Notably, the PMI fell into contractionary territory in October before dipping again in November, while exports unexpectedly declined in November, largely due to weaker smartphone demand. Though export orders were robust in October, the softer demand for tech products will likely continue to weigh on the trade sector until year-end. Meanwhile, the more subdued private spending observed in Q3 looks poised to continue in Q4, as consumer confidence fell again in November. Nevertheless, a large public infrastructure package will likely keep buttressing investment growth in the quarter and beyond. On the political front, the local elections held on 24 November—seen by analysts largely as an interim evaluation of the government’s policy—dealt a heavy blow to President Tsai, forcing her to resign as head of the Democratic Progressive Party and possibly compromising her 2020 reelection bid.

Taiwan Economic Growth

Growth should moderate starting next year, as the external sector—and particularly electronics exports—remain particularly vulnerable to an escalation of the Sino-American trade war. Though private consumption is seen waning, it should nevertheless remain resilient due to low unemployment, while the TWD 228 billion infrastructure package approved for 2019 and 2020 will support investment momentum. Aside from trade issues, increasing diplomatic tensions with the mainland remains a key downside risk. FocusEconomics panelists forecast GDP growth of 2.2% in 2019, which is unchanged from last month’s forecast, and 2.0% in 2020.

Taiwan Economy Data

Population (million)23.423.423.523.523.6
GDP per capita (USD)21,89422,71622,55922,62924,402
GDP (USD bn)512532530533575
Economic Growth (GDP, annual variation in %)
Consumption (annual variation in %)
Investment (annual variation in %)
Industrial Production (annual variation in %)3.26.4-
Retail Sales (annual variation in %)
Unemployment Rate4.
Fiscal Balance (% of GDP)-1.4-0.80.1-0.3-1.4
Public Debt (% of GDP)33.832.831.631.230.7
Money (annual variation in %)
Inflation Rate (CPI, annual variation in %, eop)
Inflation Rate (CPI, annual variation in %)0.81.2-
Inflation (WPI, annual variation in %)-2.4-0.6-8.9-3.00.9
Policy Interest Rate (%)1.881.881.631.381.38
Stock Market (annual variation in %)11.98.1-10.411.015.0
Exchange Rate (vs USD)29.8331.6332.8332.4529.67
Exchange Rate (vs USD, aop)29.6830.3131.7632.2430.42
Current Account (% of GDP)9.711.414.113.714.4
Current Account Balance (USD bn)49.960.474.972.882.9
Trade Balance (USD billion)33.438.248.149.858.0
Exports (USD billion)311320285280317
Imports (USD billion)278282237231259
Exports (annual variation in %)1.62.8-10.9-1.813.2
Imports (annual variation in %)0.21.4-15.8-2.812.4
International Reserves (USD)417419426434452
External Debt (% of GDP)33.233.430.032.331.6

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Taiwan Facts

Bond Yield0.881.28 %Jan 16
Exchange Rate30.810.07 %Jan 16
Stock Market9,7640.37 %Jan 16

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