TAIPEI - Taiwan's economy may grow about 5% this year, the head of the statistics office said on Wednesday, offering an even rosier forecast than his own office made last month on the back of the tech-powerhouse's booming exports. Taiwan's economy would grow at its fastest pace in seven years in 2021, the statistics office said in February, upgrading its economic outlook as a strong rebound in exports and demand for chips helps the island shake off the blow from the coronavirus crisis. Gross domestic product (GDP) was expected to expand 4.64% this year, the Directorate General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics said, up from a forecast made in November for 3.83% growth. But its head, Chu Tzer-ming, told parliament that there was a possibility growth may in fact reach 5% this year. Taiwan's exports surged last year to $345.28 billion, a record high by value for a single year, driven by global demand for laptops, tablets, smartphones and other gadgets to support the work-from-home trend during the pandemic. The Finance Ministry on Tuesday said it expected exports to grow at a good clip in both the first and second quarters, helped by chip demand. REUTERS
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