Taiwan's Economy Predicted to Grow 2.29 Percent This Year

Taiwan's economy is predicted to grow 2.29 percent this year, reports from Taipei said Saturday. A previous economic forecast made in November last year by local authorities estimated that the gross domestic product growth rate would reach 2.23 percent in 2002 after suffering its first-ever decline in 2001.

Statistics showed that the Taiwan's economy contracted by 1.91 percent last year, better than the negative 2.68 percent originally predicted.

A local official was quoted by the reports as saying that private sector investment remains the key to economic growth. For Taiwan's economy to recover, the investment environment would need to be improved so that private investments can return to their previous level, the official said.

Because Taiwan's unemployment problems are expected to remain difficult to overcome in the short term, private sector spending will remain restricted, with annual growth in private sector spending likely to rebound slightly this year to 2.58 percent, from last year's 1.37 percent.

The economic growth rate for the fourth quarter of 2001 was able to reach negative 1.87 percent, 0.81 percentage points higher than the original prediction of negative 2.68 percent, the official said.

People's Daily Online --- http://english.peopledaily.com.cn/