More makers optimistic about economic outlook

Dec 30, 2003 Ι Industry In-Focus Ι Furniture Ι By Ben, CENS
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Taipei, Dec. 30, 2003 (CENS)--The percentage of domestic manufacturing firms optimistic about the domestic economic prospects rose to 40.4% in November from the previous month's 27.8%, according to a survey conducted by the Taiwan Institute of Economic Research (TIER), one of Taiwan's major economic think tanks.

The survey showed that the percentage of the manufacturing expecting the local economic performance to remain unchanged in the next six months declined to 53.8% in November from October's 62.5%, and the percentage of the firms forecasting the economy to turn worse slipped to 5.8% in November from the previous month's 9.7%.

TIER's survey showed the business climate index hit 116.03 points in November, an increase of 0.95 of a percentage point from the previous month.

Over the past several months, the business climate index has been rising steadily, representing a bright outlook for the domestic economy. TIER president Wu Rong-yi stressed the expansion of public construction projects should be continued next year to stimulate further recovery of the domestic economy.

Wu further said it's not difficult for Taiwan to see a 5% or 6% annual economic growth rate because Taiwan has strong dynamic potentials to support economic growth. He said the five-year NT$500 billion (US$14.7 billion at US$1:NT$34) worth of new 10 major construction project to be carried out next year will benefit the domestic economy.

Despite the weak performance of the financial market following the outbreak of the severe acute respiratory syndrome epidemic and the thorny political issues, Taiwan still saw brilliant export and production performance in November because of the lukewarm growth in domestic consumption, investments as well as the recovery of the real estate industry. In addition, the unemployment rate hit a new low in November since July 2001.

Based on the encouraging economic indicators, Wu firmly said the domestic economy in the fourth quarter of this year will be better than the previous quarter.
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