Fri, Mar 26, 2010 - Page 12 News List

Poll shows rising optimism among manufacturers

By Ted Yang  /  STAFF REPORTER

More than half of local manufacturers said last month they were optimistic about the nation’s economic growth over the next half year, a survey conducted by a Taipei-based think tank showed yesterday.

The number of manufacturers expecting a bullish business climate over the next six months climbed to 50.8 percent last month, its highest since March 2007, the Taiwan Institute of Economic Research (TIER, 台經院) survey showed.

The figure contrasted with a revised 44.6 percent recorded in January and exceeded 50 percent for the first time in three years, a clear indication that the manufacturing sector has become more confident about near-term economic growth, TIER said.

“Those with a pessimistic outlook for the economy [over the next six months] slid to 6.9 percent last month, compared with a revised 8.8 percent recorded in January,” TIER president David Hong (洪德生) told a press briefing.

Although the next half year will be slow for the manufacturing sector, the global economy has shown signs of recovery that will shore up demand for downstream end-products, Hong said.

However, manufacturers who remained upbeat about the current economy dropped 11.8 percentage points last month, while those with a pessimist outlook rose 4.8 percentage points, the survey showed.

“The manufacturing sector last month perhaps did not perform all that well,” Chen Miao (陳淼), director of TIER’s macroeconomic forecasting center, told the Taipei Times.

Chen said that retail businesses in the service sector remained bullish last month because of the Lunar New year holiday, which is usually the best time for sales in the service sector.

Investment in financial products and personal consumption are expected to increase over the next six months as the economy continues to recover, Chen said.

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