Central bank governor to step down in 2018

 ”It will be my last term, and this will also be my last civil servant position,” Perng said during a press conference held after the bank’s quarterly policy meeting Thursday.

 Asked by the press who would fill his position, the banker said he could not comment on behalf of the President or the Premier.

 Perng assumed his current position in 1998 and will have held the position for 20 years by the time he retires, the longest duration of any central banker in Taiwan’s history.

 Perng took a stand on the nation’s stagnant salary growth, saying that countries around the world have gradually adopted policies that promote higher employee income. They believe higher income will encourage consumption and consequently boost economic growth, Perng said.

 Helpful measures include hiking the minimum wage, tax incentives for increasing wages and improving corporate governance to indirectly encourage salary increases.

 The central bank also announced yesterday that it has decided not to cut benchmark interest rates. Leaving rates unchanged is expected to help stabilize local consumer prices and financial markets.

 The central bank most recently cut interest rates at the end of June, the fourth consecutive quarter that the bank lowered rates in a bid to boost the economy. The discount rate currently stands at 1.375 percent.

 The world is undergoing an extended period of sluggish growth. Trade and investment have slowed. The UK’s exit from the eurozone, China’s structural reform and the market’s expectation that the U.S. Fed will raise the interest rate later this year all contribute to the uncertainty, Perng said, adding that the gloomy prospects have prompted institutes around the world to lower their growth forecasts.

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