Taiwan Jobless Rate Highest for October in 15 Years

Taiwan's jobless rate hit 3.19 percent in October, the highest in 14 months and the highest for October in 15 years, a Taiwanese newspaper reported.

Although the number of first-time job seekers fell in October, the number of unemployed climbed by 9,000 to 313,000, the English newspaper Taiwan News said Friday. The high numbers came from businesses shutting down or scaling back the workforce, it said.

The unemployment, averaged across the whole year, is expected to hit an all-time high of 2.97 percent, and the rate is likely to rise further next year, the newspaper said.

Balance of Payment Turns from Surplus to Deficit

Because of the huge outflow of the New Taiwan Dollar, the balance of payment of Taiwan in the third quarter plunged from surplus of eight consecutive quarters to deficit. Worse still, in the financial account there was a huge net capital outflow of US$4.069 billion, showing that local and foreign investors' lack of confidence in making investment in Taiwan.

According to the "central bank" of Taiwan, the Island, in its balance of payment in the third quarter, had a deficit of US$0.437 billion, setting a record low in the past five years. The Taiwan financial sources noted that the huge amount of net outflow of money attributed mainly to the locals' selling spree of New Taiwan Dollar and purchasing US dollar as well as the outflow of foreign capital. As the capital account reflects investors' anticipatory psychology, the net outflow of capital account is an expression of a confidence crisis emerged among foreign investors and Taiwan islanders.

The Economist: Financial Crisis May Occur in Taiwan Early Next Year

The latest edition of British Economist predicted that a financial crisis is likely to occur in Taiwan next January in around the lunar New Year or afterwards at the earliest.

The Economist pointed out that Taiwan' stock market has slumped by 35 percent since Chen Shui-bian was elected "president" of Taiwan in last March. Many a real-estate businesses, which had already begun to devaluate since 1995, have dropped by over 50 percent, and many consortia are confronting with predicaments in paying off debts, while many loans are vouched by way of stocks and real estates.

If the debtors do not have the ability to pay off the debts, the mortgage will accordingly lose their value.

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