Tue, Aug 24, 2010 - Page 12 News List

Industrial output reaches record high as orders rise

By Jason Tan  /  STAFF REPORTER

Taiwan’s industrial output reached its fifth consecutive record high with the output index hitting 128.62 last month, mainly fueled by rising orders for semiconductors, panels and consumer electronics.

The output marked a year-on-year growth of 20.7 percent, and a rise of 2 percent from June, Beatrice Tsai (蔡美娜), deputy director general of the Ministry of Economic Affairs’ statistics department, told a press briefing yesterday.

Production in the manufacturing industry — which accounts for over 90 percent of Taiwan’s factory output and includes the electronics, chemicals, food and textile sectors — grew 22.2 percent last month.

However, chemicals output posted a rise of only 3.9 percent as an explosion at a Formosa Petrochemical Corp (台塑石化) factory caused component shortages which impacted the output of chemical firms, Tsai said.

Output for the mining and quarrying industries rose 8.4 percent, while that for the construction industry was down 24 percent amid a supply glut.

Factory output for the first seven months of the year grew 34.2 percent from last year, the department said.

The ministry said on Friday that Taiwan’s export orders — an indication of shipments in the next one to three months — increased 18.2 percent from a year earlier after a 22.5 percent gain in June.

The value of export orders climbed to US$33.8 billion last month, marking the fourth-­highest amount on record. Orders may rise to a record US$400 billion this year, up from last year’s US$322.4 billion, according to the ministry.

Meanwhile, local consumption also continued its revenue momentum last month, boosted by tourist numbers.

Total sales for the wholesale, retail and food and beverage ­sectors marked a record high as they hit NT$1.18 trillion (US$37 billion). It represents a rise of 9.1 percent from last year and up 2.4 percent from June.

“A surge in visitors last month, especially those from China, drove up the business of duty-free shops,” Tsai said.

Combined sales for the first seven months increased 12.1 percent to NT$7.76 trillion, the department said.

When broken down by sectors, the wholesale sector expanded by 9.1 percent last month to NT$850.4 billion, amid robust sales from merchandise brokerage and gasoline business.

Revenues in the retail sector jumped 8.8 percent to NT$301.4 billion. The department said vehicles and components, information communications products and home electronics fueled growth.

The food and beverage sector expanded 10.8 percent to NT$29.8 billion in sales, mainly fueled by restaurant business.

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