Tue, Jan 29, 2008 - Page 12 News List

Economic indicator remains on green

PERFORMANCE Export value grew by 6.5 percentage points last month, while the consumer confidence index rebounded from a six-month low to rise by 3.24 points

By Judy Lin and Jerry Lin  /  STAFF REPORTERS

A strong showing in manufacturing sector data offset a feeble performance on the financial side, maintaining a moderate rise in last month's business indicators, the Council for Economic Planning and Development (CEPD) said yesterday.

The leading index and the coincidence index inched up 0.1 percent and 0.5 percent month-on-month last month respectively. The monitoring signal flashed "green" for the second month in a row, which means the economy is neither in a recession nor under inflationary pressure.

"A rise in semiconductor book-to-bill ratio and an improvement in real-estate market sentiment offset the negative effects from a lackluster performance in the local bourse and a slide in M1B money supply," said Hung Jui-bin (洪瑞彬), director-general of the CEPD's economic research department.

Export value increased by 6.5 percentage points from the previous month, while the value of machinery and electronic equipment imports bucked the downward trend in November and grew by 11.2 percent last month. The latter reflects the trend of capital spending among manufacturers.

Though positive overall about the the economy's prospects, Hong said the government would keep an eye on the price of crude oil and raw materials. It would also monitor the subprime crisis and take action when necessary, Hung said, adding that the consequent market slump and negative impact on global economies had created uncertainties for local businesses.

Meanwhile, the consumer confidence index rebounded from a six-year low last month to rise 3.24 points to 65.82 this month, statistics from National Central University's Research Center for Taiwan Economic Development showed yesterday.

The sub-index that measures consumers' confidence in the economic prosperity over the next six months saw the biggest jump of 10.25 points to 56.6, as a result of post-legislative election stability, the figures showed.

Another sub-index that measures the stock market's outlook in the next six months followed to see an increase of 9.3 points to 80.2 this month.

Among six sub-indices, the only sub-index that declined was the outlook for durable goods, which fell 4.85 points to 104.10 this month, which, nonetheless, is the only sub-index that exceeds 100 -- a sign of optimism, the statistics showed.

"It is worth noticing that the outlook for durable goods has declined for [three] straight months, which reflects the deteriorating domestic real estate and automobile markets," Shia Ben-chang (謝邦昌), a professor of statistics and information science at Fu Jen Catholic University, said in a telephone interview yesterday.

"This month's readings show that the nation still depends upon export sales and IC testing stocks, which is why the export-oriented economy is suffering from sluggish domestic demand," Shia said.

This story has been viewed 4499 times.

Comments will be moderated. Keep comments relevant to the article. Remarks containing abusive and obscene language, personal attacks of any kind or promotion will be removed and the user banned. Final decision will be at the discretion of the Taipei Times.

TOP top