February 2017  
The world economy is on the right track for now
TIER business composite indicators sending mixed signals
The Taiwanese Economy in January 2017

The world economy is on the right track: a) the US manufacturing is recovering, b) the job market in Europe is improving, and c) the Chinese export is growing again. However, the most recent business composite indicators issued by the Taiwan Institute of Economic Research (TIER) are sending mixed signals due to less working days during the lunar new year break.
Taiwan's exports in January 2017 increased by 6.99% compared with the same month of 2016. Regarding imports, Taiwan's imports in January 2017 increased by 8.40% compared with imports in January 2016. For the entire month of January 2017, Taiwan's exports and imports gave a trade surplus of US$ 3.49 billion or a decrease by 0.57% on a y-o-y basis.
Taiwan's consumer price index (CPI) went up by 2.25% in January 2017 compared with the same month of previous year.
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55% of manufacturers adversely hit by labor law
Up to 55 percent of manufacturing businesses have been adversely impacted by the new "one fixed, one flexible" day off labor policy since it was put into effect two months ago, according a survey released Friday by 1111 Job Bank. Sectors that have borne the brunt of the impact include food and beverage processing, metal processing and textiles manufacturing. Most of the polled manufacturers hoped the government would amend the labor holiday policy in a way that allowed them greater flexibility in manpower management and utilization, so as to effectively cushion adverse impact of the policy. The polled firms said that to achieve the goal, the government should relax the 46-hour restriction on monthly overtime hours, reduce overtime pay, and exempt employees who volunteer to work overtime from the "one fixed, one flexible" day off rule. (Source: The China Post)

Taiwan achieves highest ever ranking in global economic freedom index (Source: MOEA)
Taiwan Economic Research Monthly
Outlook of Taiwan's New Southbound Policy
New southbound- New Market (I): the bilateral relationships between Taiwan, Australia and New Zealand
Compared to other targeted new southbound countries, Australia and New Zealand are both the developed countries with higher economic development. Given that Australia is the 16th largest economy in the world; and New Zealand's economy is much smaller than Australia, but its GDP is ranked 30th in the world which cannot be underestimated. However, both imports and exports are mainly on tourism services and transport services by looking at the trade between Taiwan, New Zealand and Australia. Thus, to enhance the bilateral cooperation, Taiwan should cooperate with Australia to help upgrade their digital technology and advance its industrial competitiveness while to cooperate with New Zealand to expand its market size as first priority.
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