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|Wednesday, April 25, 2001, updated at 17:06(GMT+8)|
Researchers Downgrade Taiwan's Economic Growth ForecastTaiwan's overall economic growth rate for 2001 will decrease to 4.75 percent, about one percentage point lower than the previous forecast made in January by the Taiwan Institute of Economic Research (TIER).
Taiwan's local media quoted the private economic think-tank's forecast as saying that the annual growth in private spending and consumption this year will be a low 4.54 percent, mainly as a result of the continuing plummet in the stock market.
Private sector investment predictions are even more gloomy, with the annual growth in this area expected to be around 2.32 percent for 2001.
The researchers attributed the reason to the fact that the overall investment environment can not improve in the short term and small and medium-sized enterprises find it increasingly difficult to obtain soft loans.
In the foreign trade sector, the researchers predicted that Taiwan's exports of commodities and services will grow 2.93 percent for 2001, while its imports will grow 1.98 percent.
Fortunately, they forecast, the island's trade surplus will reach some 10 billion new Taiwan dollars (311 million U.S. dollars) this year, which is expected to contribute to the island's overall economic growth.
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