The Directorate General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics (DGBAS) said on Jan. 30 that Taiwan’s economy grew 3.51% last year, slightly above the government’s earlier forecast of 3.43%.
DGBAS said that the nation registered a real GDP growth of 3.17% during the last quarter of 2014, beating its own estimate in November of 2.83%. The DGBAS said that despite a series of food safety scandals and crisis in Taiwan during the fourth quarter last year, the domestic economy remained steady and continued to grow, which was the main reason to beat its own forecast last November.
Quoting its statistics, DGBAS said that during the period between October and December, Taiwan’s exports in electronics, machinery and base metal all increased, while outbound sales in gasoline/diesel and plastics/rubber products offset total exports.
The DGBAS said that after inflationary adjustment, real exports in merchandise and services during the fourth quarter last year showed the year-on-year growth of 5.57%, while merchandise and services imports grew 4.59% from the previous year. In the meantime, retail sales for the fourth quarter were boosted by a 4.31% year-on-year sales growth in the auto industry.
DGBAS said, however, the statistics showed that the food safety scandals during the last quarter for 2014 did hurt consumer sentiment to some extent. A positive factor, however, was the local government elections in late November, which boosted spending during the campaign period, the DGBAS said, which became a reason that retail revenue in Taiwan grew 3.08% year-on-year in the fourth quarter, and private consumption increased 2.33%.
DGBAS’ statistics also showed that fixed capital formation also increased, rising 2.19% from a year earlier. Capital equipment imports, however, showed a 1.74% plunge as a result of a higher comparison base in the same period of 2013.
As for the first three quarters of 2014, DGBAS said, Taiwan’s GDP grew 3.41%, 3.87% and 3.63%, respectively.
The DGBAS was scheduled to issue a preliminary report on the nation’s GDP growth for the whole of 2014 and an updated forecast for 2015 sometime in the upcoming February. In its most recent prediction last November, it forecast a 3.50% growth for 2015.