Taiwan, home to many of the world’s biggest tech companies, reported a daily record of 127 Covid deaths on Saturday, up from 126 on Friday, amid signs the global pandemic was slowing economic growth as much there. as around the world.
The Central Epidemiological Command Center also reported 80,835 domestic Covid cases on Saturday, down from a single-day record of 94,808 domestic infections on Friday, the Central News Agency reported. The pandemic is likely to remain at a “high but stable plateau” for at least two weeks in Taiwan, the CNA said.
The record increase in deaths followed a cut in the government’s GDP forecast for 2022 on Thursday to 3.91% from 4.42%, according to the Directorate-General for Budget, Accounting and Statistics. The DGBAS forecast for Taiwan’s private consumption growth was lowered by two percentage points from the previous estimate to 3.10%, which in turn reduced the GDP growth forecast by 0.5 to 0.7 points. percentages this year, the CNA said. The government’s forecast for private investment growth was reduced by 1.04 percentage points to 4.61%. Investment growth will be driven by the semiconductor industry, CNA said.
The cut in Taiwan’s expected GDP growth this year comes amid concerns of recession or slowing growth in the US and mainland China, the world’s two largest economies. Taiwan ranks 22nd. At 94,808, the number of new Covid cases reported in Taiwan on Thursday was not far from the US seven-day average of 109,643 new cases, even though the US population is approximately 14 times larger. Most cases in both economies were mild.
In another sign that the global pandemic is weighing on Taiwan’s economy, the Taiwan Institute of Economic Research said this week that business sentiment in the local manufacturing sector had dropped to a two-year low in April. Covid-related lockdowns on the mainland, where Taiwan is a major investor, along with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine have dampened sentiment, CNA reported.
In contrast to Taiwan, mainland China has used long, stringent lockdowns of infected or potentially exposed individuals to limit the spread of Covid. While some restrictions have eased, much of Shanghai is in various stages of lockdown in April and May, disrupting global supply chains.
Taiwan has a population of over 23 million and is one of the world’s leading sources of semiconductors. Taiwanese companies that make the Forbes Global 2000 list of the world’s top publicly traded companies include Hon Hai Precision – the major Apple supplier led by billionaire Terry Gou, and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Corp., or TSMC, which manufactures computer chips for Intel. Others among Apple’s numerous Taiwanese suppliers include Pegatron, Lite-On Technology, Inventec, Catcher Technology, Largan Precision and Compeq Manufacturing.
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