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Country Report Taiwan October 2017

Country Report Taiwan October 2017

  • October 2017
  • ID: 325949
  • Format: PDF
  • By The Economist Intelligence Unit

Summary

Table of Contents

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Outlook for 2018-22



  • The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) will control the presidency and the Legislative Yuan (parliament) until at least 2020. The Economist Intelligence Unit expects the party to win the elections for both institutions in that year.
  • Further trade and investment agreements with China will be shelved in 2018-22, owing to the government's refusal to recognise the basic political framework that the mainland has demanded for official communications.
  • An economic slowdown in China in 2018, and a downturn in the US in 2020, will erode external demand and investment growth for much of the forecast period. As a result, real GDP growth will average 1.9% a year in 2018-22.
  • The rate of consumer price inflation will accelerate slightly in 2018, to 0.8%, as the New Taiwan dollar depreciates. Inflation will remain subdued until 2021-22, owing mainly to lacklustre growth in domestic economic activity.
  • The local currency will depreciate against the US dollar in 2018, amid weakening economic growth in China. It will appreciate again from 2020 owing to US dollar weakness and stronger GDP growth in Taiwan.
  • The current-account surplus will be equivalent to 12.6% of GDP in 2018. It will decline over 2018-22, averaging 11.6% of GDP, mainly owing to exports faltering in the first half of the forecast period.


Review



  • On September 4th the premier, Lin Chuan of the DPP, announced his resignation. The following day Lai Ching-te, the mayor of the southern city of Tainan, was confirmed to replace Mr Lin, prompting a minor cabinet reshuffle.
  • The Ministry of Finance opened a month-long public review of tax reform proposals on September 4th. These include raising the corporate tax rate and reducing the top marginal rate of personal income tax.
  • The Central Bank of the Republic of China (Taiwan) left its main policy interest rate, the discount rate, unchanged at 1.375% following its monetary policy meeting on September 21st. The interest rate was last cut in July 2016.
  • According to data released by the Directorate-General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics on September 5th, consumer prices rose by 1% year on year in August. This compared with an increase of 0.8% in July.
  • On September 8th the finance ministry published preliminary data showing that merchandise exports (including re-exports) rose by 12.7% year on year on a customs basis in August, compared with 12.5% in July. Merchandise imports (including re-imports) rose by 6.9%, up from 6.5% in the previous month.


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