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Taiwan seen leaving rates unchanged as tech slowdown bites: poll
[TAIPEI] Taiwan's central bank is expected to leave the policy rate steady for the eleventh consecutive quarter, a Reuters poll of analysts showed, as a global tech slowdown dented the island's export-reliant economy.
All sixteen economists polled said they expected the central bank to leave the benchmark discount rate at 1.375 per cent when its policy board meets on Thursday.
Taiwan's economy is facing a slowdown amid concerns of tariff increases amid a prolonged Sino-US trade war, both are Taiwan's main trading partners. The island's exports contracted for a fourth straight month in February in their steepest fall in nearly three years due to slowing demand for its technology exports.
"We don't think it will do anything this year despite falling exports dragging GDP growth lower in the recent quarter," ING economist Prakash Sakpal said in a note, referring to Taiwan's central bank.
"The trend is likely to continue ahead, while inflation is almost non-existent."
Higher interest rates could also lift the Taiwan dollar, hurting the island's export competitiveness.
Taiwan last month lowered its economic growth estimate for 2019 to 2.27 per cent from 2.41 per cent, citing growing global uncertainties.