Taiwan Economic Forecast

Taiwan Economic Outlook

September 18, 2018

After helping the economy reach a three-year high growth rate in the second quarter, the external sector appears to have significantly weakened in the third quarter. Export growth slowed for the third consecutive month in August, although an improvement in export orders in July could indicate a pickup of demand in September—coinciding with the scheduled release of new iPhone models—and beyond. Meanwhile, domestic demand should remain robust in H2 2018, supported by a tight labor market and increasingly loose fiscal policy: Only a third of the TWD 107 billion infrastructure package approved last year had been executed as of June, suggesting government spending will accelerate throughout H2. Furthermore, on 16 August, the cabinet approved a second TWD 228 billion infrastructure plan, with TWD 105.3 billion and TWD 122.2 billion allocated for 2019 and 2020 respectively.

Taiwan Economic Growth

Though higher fiscal spending should provide some support, growth appears poised to moderate somewhat in H2 2018 and beyond. This is mainly due to the external sector being affected by a likely slowdown in the tech cycle and the rapidly escalating U.S.-China trade dispute—which could also weigh on investment. Other downside risks include heightened migration of high-skilled workers and increased diplomatic tensions with China, upon whom Taiwan is heavily reliant. FocusEconomics panelists forecast GDP growth of 2.6% this year and 2.3% in 2019, which is unchanged from last month’s forecast.

Taiwan Economy Data

20132014201520162017
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 %)2.24.00.81.42.9
Consumption (annual variation in %)2.33.42.62.32.3
Investment (annual variation in %)5.32.11.62.30.0
Industrial Production (annual variation in %)3.26.4-1.32.05.0
Retail Sales (annual variation in %)2.03.90.31.91.2
Unemployment Rate4.24.03.83.93.8
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 %)5.86.15.83.63.6
Inflation Rate (CPI, annual variation in %, eop)0.30.60.11.71.2
Inflation Rate (CPI, annual variation in %)0.81.2-0.31.40.6
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

ValueChangeDate
Bond Yield0.941.28 %Oct 12
Exchange Rate30.910.07 %Oct 12
Stock Market10,0460.37 %Oct 12

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