TAIPEI, Taiwan - Taiwanese manufacturers foresee improving economic prospects in the coming six months because of the strong demand during the Chinese New Year holiday and the launch of new products, a Taiwan Institute of Economic Research (TIER) survey has found.
TIER President David Hong predicted that Taiwan's real gross domestic product would grow close to 6% in 2011. According to results of the survey released on January 25, 41.5% of the manufacturers surveyed held a positive view of the economy's prospects, compared to 29.4% who felt that way in November.
Nearly half (49.2%) felt the economy would remain the same over the next six months and 9.3% felt Taiwan's economic prospects would become worse, both lower than the 59% and 11.6%, respectively, who held those views in November, the survey found.
Chen Miao, director of TIER's macroeconomics forecasting center, said that although the first three months of the year are traditionally the slowest season for sales, market inventories of manufacturers have fallen because of the strong demand over the 2011 Chinese New Year holiday. "Manufacturers also believe that emerging markets will still show strong demand for new electronic products in the next six months," he said.
As for the 5.7% growth this year, the forecast is higher than the 5% growth projected by the World Bank and higher than the 4.8% growth estimated by international think tank Global Insight.
The growth will be driven partly by private consumption, which is forecast to grow 3.45% this year, because increasing numbers of Chinese tourists are expected to boost local retail sales, leading to more job openings in the service industry, Hong said.