Taiwan’s central bank cuts 2020 growth forecast amid coronavirus fears

Admits hit will be far worse than during 2003 SARS outbreak

Taiwan News
Date: 2020/03/20
By: Sophia Yang, Taiwan News, Staff Writer
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Shopping malls in Taipei see less traffic as people shy away from malls amid coronavirus fear.  (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — As airlines continue to scrap almost all flights, the tourism sector is suffering a huge blow from the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak — one that is "far bigger" than during the 2003 SARS outbreak, said Taiwan's central bank on Thursday (March 19).

The COVID-19 crisis is having a ripple effect across Taiwan and around the world as activities grind to a halt. The central bank said that the epidemic is affecting supply chains, disrupting manufacturing operations, and hurting domestic demand, so it is cutting the country's growth outlook to 1.92% for 2020.

As more nations have imposed lockdowns and bans on all foreign visitors, tourist agencies in Taiwan have halted overseas tours until the end of April.

During the SARS outbreak in 2003, the total passenger traffic at the country's international airports dropped by 69.5 percent, with the number of outbound and inbound visitors down 71.5 percent and 68.7 percent, respectively. Overall, the economy slumped into a negative growth rate of 1.15 percent.    [FULL  STORY]

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