1. Market Research
Country Forecast Taiwan January 2018 Updater

Country Forecast Taiwan January 2018 Updater

  • January 2018
  • ID: 369836
  • Format: PDF
  • By The Economist Intelligence Unit

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  • The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) is likely to retain both the presidency and a majority in the Legislative Yuan (parliament) in the next general election in 2020. This will be a boon to policymaking. However, ties with China will remain strained under the DPP.
  • The continuation of cross-Strait tensions will result in the mainland proactively reducing Taiwan's international space. This will lead the DPP to prioritise preserving ties with the US and the security guarantee that it provides. Elsewhere it will struggle to strengthen relations, and this will hinder its ability to conclude new trade agreements.
  • The DPP will have mixed success navigating popular dissatisfaction with established party politics and a renewed culture of public protest. This will in large part be driven by its prioritisation of medium-term policy goals, whose successes will be incremental and difficult to promote publicly. Nonetheless, the lack of an effective opposition means that it will not lose power in 2018-22.
  • The fiscal deficit will widen in 2018-22 compared with 2013-17. In addition to the mixed impact of tax and pension reforms aimed at improving wealth redistribution, expansionary policies of the DPP government, mainly in the form of public housing and infrastructure construction, will widen the fiscal deficit in 2018-19, to the equivalent of 1.1% of GDP on average. It will narrow thereafter.
  • Real GDP growth will be constrained by uneven external demand for Taiwan's main exports in the forecast period. The pace of export growth will dip in 2018-20 owing to slowing economic growth in China and a downturn in the US. These trends will also dampen private investment for much of the forecast period, although public spending will offer some counterbalance to this.
  • Consumer price inflation will fail to pick up much until 2021, amid struggling domestic demand and stagnating global commodity prices. In 2021-22 stronger domestic economic conditions will result in faster price growth, but consumer price inflation will average just 1.3% a year in 2018-22.
  • In addition to uneven external demand, growth in foreign earnings will be tempered by increasing competition in high-technology exports among Taiwan's regional neighbours in the forecast period. Competitors' strengthening capacities and integration, partly owing to already established free-trade agreements, will mean that Taiwan struggles to maintain a lead in many cutting-edge industries.


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