February 2018  
Leading indicators signal promising US economy in 2018
TIER business composite indicators mount up simultaneously
The leading indicator recently issued by the US conference Board went up significantly. In addition, the manufacturing and non-manufacturing PMIs issued by the Institute for Supply Management both stood way beyond the point of 50. The implications would have two folds: the US recovery continues, and the US economic expansion lasts. It is obvious that the US will shoulder the world economy at least in the short run. As the market demand driven by the US is strong, all three composite indicators issued by the Taiwan Institute of Economic Research (TIER) mount up at the same time.
Taiwan's exports in January 2018 increased significantly by only 15.33% compared with the same month of 2017 that would also be the 16th month of positive growth in exports. Regarding imports, Taiwan's imports in January 2018 increased by 23.30% compared with imports in January 2017. Taiwan's exports and imports in January 2018 gave a trade surplus of US$ 2.42 billion or a decrease by 30.80% on a year-on-year basis.
Taiwan's consumer price index (CPI) went up by only 0.88% in January 2018 compared with the same month of previous year. The core inflation rate stood at 0.82% in January 2018. In addition, the wholesale price index (WPI) moved down by 0.74% in January 2018 on the year-on-year basis. In a nutshell, the current inflation is relatively mild.
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Taiwan’s CPTPP bid met with a mostly positive response
Most of the 11 nations that are part of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) have responded positively to Taiwan’s bid to join the trade initiative, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in February. “The responses we have received thus far are relatively positive. The Japanese government has expressed its support for Taiwan’s bid and the reactions from other member nations are not very far from it,” Department of International Cooperation and Economic Affairs Director Lee Sing-ying (李新穎) told a news conference in Taipei. Although different nations have a different tone, most of them have reacted positively to Taipei’s bid, he added. (Source: Taipei Times)

Taiwan and the UK sign an MOU on the deposit of biological materials for the purposes of patent procedure (Source: MOEA)
Taiwan Economic Research Monthly
Taiwan's new future in terms of industrial development policies
New Agriculture and the New Southbound Policy – A Pairing that Offers More than the Sum of its Parts
With freight farms that protect against weather and insect damage by growing crops in sealed shipping containers, and the Weatherbill insurance service that uses weather data to calculate premiums and compensation, high-tech firms across the world are increasingly entering the emerging field of smart agriculture. Cross-disciplinary techniques and concepts have completely changed the development of agriculture and paved the way for a smarter future, and while New Agriculture in Taiwan is gaining pace, leveraging its synergies with Taiwan’s New Southbound Policy could amplify the effects of both initiatives.
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