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Taiwan lowers 2013 growth forecast to 2.4 per cent as global demand remains subdued

TAIPEI, Taiwan – Taiwan has lowered its economic growth forecast for 2013 to a muted 2.4 per cent as global demand for the island’s electronics exports remained subdued.

In February, the government predicted 3.6 per cent growth this year. The economy grew 1.3 per cent in 2012.

The government said Friday the economy expanded 1.7 per cent in the first quarter from a year earlier.

A slow recovery in China and recession in Europe have hurt exports, the engine of the island’s economic growth.

Some export orders for high-tech goods shifted to Japan because of the weaker yen.

Robust growth in semiconductor exports has led to an upsurge in machinery imports for factory expansion. But car imports have dropped as consumers held up purchases of Japan-made vehicles in anticipation the yen would weaken further.