Trade uncertainty could slow growth

CLOUDY OUTLOOK: The US-China trade dispute and a global economic slowdown could dampen demand for major consumer products, a Taiwan Ratings analyst said

Taipei Times
Date: Dec 12, 2019
By: Crystal Hsu  /  Staff reporter

The nation’s economy could lose some of its strength next year because of global trade protectionism, with GDP growth forecast to slow to 2.4 percent from an estimated 2.5 percent this year, as trade tensions and a global slowdown hurt demand for consumer products, S&P Global Ratings said yesterday.

“Uncertainty remains high as we head into 2020,” Taiwan Ratings (中華信評), the international agency’s local arm, told a media briefing in Taipei.

The economic slowdown globally and in China, coupled with an uncertain trade outlook, could hamper demand for major consumer products, from smartphones to home appliances and automobiles, Taiwan Ratings analyst David Hsu (許立德) said.

The scenario would weigh on the earnings ability of local companies in the semiconductor, electronic components, chemicals and auto parts industries — the mainstay of Taiwan’s exports — and limit any meaningful improvement in the nation’s economy over the next 12 months, Hsu said.

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