Premier assures stable commodity prices, sufficient supplies

  • Date: 2018-03-01
  • Source: Department of Information Services, Executive Yuan

Amid concerns of rising commodity prices, Premier Lai Ching-te on Thursday assured the nation that the government will do all it can to stabilize prices and ensure consumers have access to sufficient supplies. Commodity prices are expected to hold steady this year, he said, and the public need not hoard supplies nor panic over inflation fears.

Speaking at a Cabinet meeting that included reports and analyses on commodity prices by the central bank, National Development Council and Ministry of Economic Affairs, Premier Lai pointed out that recent economic indicators have turned upward, with the Directorate-General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics (DGBAS) forecasting 2.42 percent growth in Taiwan’s GDP this year—signs that the economy will continue to grow at a steady clip. Domestic demand, including private investment and consumption, is warming and shaping up to be the main force driving the economy higher this year. There remain many variables in the global economy, however, including dramatic fluctuations in financial markets, a rise in trade protectionism and other political uncertainties. The premier asked government agencies to keep a close eye on these factors and respond when appropriate.

Stimulating the domestic economy is the government’s top priority this year, he continued. To improve the domestic environment, create investment opportunities and lead the nation toward long-term economic growth, the government will ease regulations, enhance administrative efficiency and build investment momentum. These three strategies will help improve the investment climate, inject capital into the real economy, and spur industrial innovation, all with the ultimate goals of accelerating investments in Taiwan, creating new jobs and business opportunities, and further raising salary levels to provide a better working and living environment for the people of Taiwan.

Addressing the public’s concerns over price fluctuations, the premier said Taiwan’s commodity price levels have remained in a “low and steady” state under the central bank’s long-term policy guidance. For many years, the consumer price index (CPI) has risen less than 2 percent annually, and rose only by 0.62 percent in 2017. This year’s CPI will increase by 1.21 percent, according to DGBAS projections, still relatively low in comparison with other countries. To keep the public from panicking over changes in the prices of daily essentials, the Executive Yuan has established a commodity price stabilization taskforce under Vice Premier Shih Jun-ji to closely monitor price movements and take timely response measures in the interest of protecting consumers.