September 2023  
From Global Uncertainty to Modest Stability: Taiwan’s Ongoing Challenges
Contrasting Manufacturing and Service Sectors: Awaiting Economic Rebound with Patience
Observing recent developments in the international economy, the United States has shown stable economic performance, and there has been some improvement in China’s manufacturing and production activities. The demand from major economies is gradually rebounding, coupled with rising raw material prices driving replenishment demand, leading to an improvement in the global economic situation. To some extent, this has also positively influenced Taiwan's economic indicators such as exports and production. In Taiwan’s domestic manufacturing sector, the increase in international crude oil prices has pushed up the prices of petrochemical products. Additionally, steel prices have risen along with international steelmaking raw material prices, resulting in a smaller year-on-year decrease in exports and export orders for traditional industries compared to the previous month. This has led traditional industry owners to perceive better economic performance for the current month compared to the previous survey. However, due to weak demand for electronic end-products and reduced momentum in technology product shipments compared to the past, technology industry participants remain somewhat conservative in their outlook for the time being and the near future. The service industry in Taiwan has been affected by lackluster performance in domestic and international stock markets, with both stock prices and trading volumes declining. This has had an impact on financial-related industries. In the construction industry, the launch of several public projects in August and increased activity in commercial and office construction have boosted optimism. Additionally, with the government’s continued commitment to infrastructure projects, the construction industry has a positive outlook for the current month and the next six months. Regarding the real estate industry, while there has been an impact on the pre-sale housing market due to amendments to average land rights regulations, some buyers have shifted to the existing home market. Furthermore, the “Youth Secure Homeownership 2.0” policy has officially been implemented, providing positive benefits for the real estate market’s transaction volume. ...Read more
Developers remain cautious although rates stay steady
Taiwan’s property market breathed a sigh of relief after the central bank kept interest rates unchanged for the second straight quarter without introducing fresh credit controls in September. Property transactions dropped after the central bank raised interest rates five times between March last year and March this year. The downtrend persisted in June this year when the central bank halted rate hikes, but tightened lending terms on second-home mortgages to prevent funds from overflowing to real estate and threatening the nation’s financial stability. Previous measures have succeeded in cooling the property market in light of slowdowns in property transactions and housing prices, as well as mortgage and construction loans, central bank Governor Yang Chin-long said. Monthly property deals exceeded 30,000 before the first rate hike in March of last year and declined to 16,657 in January this year, as buyers largely stayed on the sidelines to avoid overleveraging. Apart from rate hikes and credit controls, the government increased property taxes, banned transfers of presale housing purchase agreements and stiffened punishments for unfair advertising practices (Taipei Times).

Seasonally adjusted unemployment rate hits lowest level since 2000 (Focus Taiwan).
Taiwan-UK collaboration will help Taiwan's energy transition: Taipower (Focus Taiwan).
Taiwan Economic Research Monthly
Different perspectives will reveal different notions of justice
Fairness and justice are concepts that everyone considers important, to the extent that even individuals associated with the underworld or criminals may uphold them as principles. However, defining what constitutes fairness and justice, and whether a specific situation aligns with these principles, often leads to differing opinions. Many people's notions of fairness and justice are often shaped by their own beliefs or definitions. For example, there is ongoing debate and controversy about whether it is unjust for someone to be unable to afford a high-priced luxury residence in the Xinyi District of Taipei City, where one square meter can cost over two million New Taiwan Dollars. To arrive at rational policy discussions that can be widely accepted and implemented, we may need to engage in deeper reflection on what fairness and justice truly mean and how a nation and society should pursue them. It's important not to simply use slogans of justice without allowing room for critique. This article first discusses some conceptual issues and then uses housing justice as an example to illustrate the complexity of justice-related issues in practice.
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