Taiwan’s economy expanded by 1.40 percent year on year in 2016 as its major trade partners, including the Chinese mainland, reported strong economic performance in the final quarter.

Taiwan’s annual gross domestic product (GDP) was 15.86 trillion new Taiwan dollars (about 506 billion U.S. dollars) in 2016, a slight rebound from 2015, when the island reported its lowest GDP expansion in six years, Taiwan’s statistics agency said Wednesday.

Its fourth quarter GDP increased by 2.58 percent year on year, the highest quarterly growth in 2016, due to steady economic growth of its trade partners, strong demand for its key semi-conductors and the rise of raw materials prices.

The mainland, Taiwan’s largest trade partner, posted GDP expansion of 6.8 percent year on year in the fourth quarter, and annual growth of 6.7 percent.

Taiwan’s fourth-quarter growth rate was higher than predicted, however, the figure shows that its economic growth momentum is still not strong, according to the agency.

Private consumption growth in 2016 slowed compared with previous years, due to declines in salaries and mainland tourists.

The total number of visitors to the island dropped by nearly 4 percent in the last quarter, despite the fact that the number of tourists from other countries increased by 17.47 percent.

Mainland tourists generally stay longer and spend much more than other visitors. Taiwan’s new administration, led by Tsai Ing-wen, has refused to recognize the 1992 Consensus that stresses the one-China principle, leading to suspension of the mainland-Taiwan communication mechanism and the fall in mainland visitors.

For 2017, the Taiwan Institute of Economic Research predicted 1.78 percent growth, as the global economy is expected to be better than 2016, which will help drive exports, the pillar of Taiwan’s economy. Enditem

Source: Xinhua/NewsGhana.com.gh

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