World Economy

Sentiment Toward Taiwan Economy Improves Slightly

Sentiment Toward Taiwan Economy Improves SlightlySentiment Toward Taiwan Economy Improves Slightly

Sentiment toward Taiwan’s economy improved slightly in February after economic think tanks raised their forecasts for the country’s gross domestic product in 2018, according to Cathay Financial Holding Co.

Citing its latest survey on economic sentiment, Cathay Financial said 26.3% of respondents thought the economy will do better over the next six months, while 34.9% felt it would get worse, CNA reported.

The results improved the economic optimism index for February to a minus 8.6 (reflecting the difference between pessimistic and optimistic respondents), up from minus 9.3 in January, Cathay Financial said.

In addition, economic optimism on current economic conditions rose to minus 6.2, up from minus 7.5 a month earlier, the financial holding conglomerate said. The results showed the public was more upbeat about Taiwan’s economic fundamentals, the financial conglomerate said, amid better growth forecasts.

Among the growing list of upbeat think tanks, the Taiwan Institute of Economic Research on Jan. 25 raised its forecast for Taiwan’s 2018 GDP growth to 2.34%, up 0.04 percentage points from TIER’s forecast of 2.3% made in November 2017.

According to Cathay Financial survey, 60.6% of respondents expected the local economy to grow at a pace of more than 2% in 2018, compared with 58.5% who felt that way in January.

The respondents expected an average of 2.07% GDP growth in 2018, compared with an average of 2.06% seen in the January survey, the February survey found.

With sentiment improving, the February index gauging current wage hikes rose to 4.0, from 2.7 in the previous survey, while the index gauging wage hikes over the next six months fell to 5.4 from 8.8, but stayed in positive territory for the fifth consecutive month, Cathay Financial said.


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