The economy continued to slow last month, with the index of leading indicators down 1.1 percent from November, when it fell 1.3 percent, according to official figures released yesterday. \nThe original reading of the November index of leading indicators, designed to measure economic activity three months ahead, was a 1.5 percent month-on-month decline, the Council for Economic Planning and Development (CEPD) said. \nLast month's index of coincident indicators, which measure the current pace of economic activity, fell 2.4 percent from November, when it was down 0.1 percent. \nThe total score of monitored indicators for last month fell to 25 points from 28 points in November, signaling a "green light" that points to steady growth of the economy, the council added. \nThe CEPD uses a five-level spectrum to gauge domestic economic health, with blue indicating recession, yellow-blue a slowdown, green steady growth, yellow-red a slight overheating and red an absolute overheating. The index has been at the "green light" level since October, easing down from "yellow-red" levels in the previous four months. In May, the indicator flashed the first "red" light reading since December 1994 before moderating in June. \nLooking ahead, the economy is expected to maintain normal growth as domestic consumption and new infrastructure projects should offset a slowdown in the global economy, the CEPD said. \nMost domestic companies feel that it will be business as usual during the first quarter of this year, with pessimistic and optimistic views accounting for only about 15 percent each, according to government poll released yesterday. \nAccording to the survey results made public by the CEPD, 72 percent of companies questioned last month were neutral about their business outlook in the first quarter of this year, while 11 percent were positive and 17 percent negative. \nThe 72 percent of companies expressing a neutral stance reflected an increase of 4 percent over the November level, while the ratios for pessimists and optimists were down by 3 percent and 1 percent, respectively. \nLast month, sales in the manufacturing sector declined by 1.9 percent in value month-to-month, but grew 13.5 percent year-on-year. Total export order value dropped by 1.9 percent compared with the November figure but rose by 15.1 percent on an annual basis. \nAt the same time, last month's industry capacity utilization rate averaged 80.3 percent, up 0.2 percent from the previous month but down 0.1 percent from a year ago. Average business return rates stood at 4.8 percent, a fall of 0.1 percent and 0.3 percent, respectively, as compared to the ratios for November and a year earlier.
Polytronics Technology Corp (聚鼎科技) yesterday announced that it is buying Henkel AG’s thermal clad dielectric material (TCLAD) business division for US$26 million as the Taiwanese firm aims to improve its technology, product portfolio and revenue performance. Polytronics, headquartered in the Hsinchu Science Park (新竹科學園區), is a supplier of protection components and heat dissipation materials. The firm entered the metallic heat-dissipation substrate market in 2007 and developed a unique solventless production process. Its board of directors approved signing an agreement with Henkel to acquire the German chemical firm’s TCLAD division in the US. The purchase includes all assets and business interests, including equipment,
SIZE MATTERS: Medium-sized hotels that do not have the support of parent groups are more vulnerable and are forced to take action, a REPro Knight Frank researcher said About 50 hotels across Taiwan are seeking to exit the market as they succumb to the bleak business outlook amid international travel restrictions imposed to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. Yomi Hotel (優美飯店) on Minsheng E Road, Sec 1, in Taipei is seeking to transfer ownership with an asking price of NT$950 million (US$32.15 million) and a pledge for a lease contract that guarantees a 3 percent return. The budget hotel, with room rates that start from NT$1,400 per night, maintains normal operations, but has been struggling since March, when the government placed restrictions on inbound and outbound travel. Occupancy rates for hotels in
With the US dollar expected to weaken in the next 12 months due to near-zero interest rates, investors should consider purchasing US corporate bonds, Standard Chartered Bank Taiwan Ltd (渣打台灣銀行) said on Thursday. The bank said that the US Federal Reserve since last month has been buying bonds issued by US companies to curb default rates. The US dollar is forecast to be weaker against the pound, the euro and the yen, as well as the Canadian dollar, the Swedish krona and the Swiss franc, as the greenback lacks high investment returns after the Fed in March slashed the benchmark interest rate
‘SENSITIVE MARKETS’: The previously unannounced project would involve the company handing over control of data to a third party to sidestep privacy concerns Google has abandoned plans to offer a major new cloud service in China and other politically sensitive countries due in part to concerns over geopolitical tensions and the COVID-19 pandemic, two employees familiar with the matter said, revealing the challenges for US tech giants to secure business in those markets. In May, the search giant shut down the initiative, known as “Isolated Region” and which sought to address nations’ desires to control data within their borders, the employees said. The action was considered a “massive strategy shift,” said one of the employees, who added that Isolated Region had involved hundreds of employees