Fri, Dec 31, 2010 - Page 12 News List

Manufacturers see business sentiment improving next year

By Jason Tan  /  Staff reporter

The manufacturing sector is upbeat on business sentiment for the next six months, thanks to strong demand from emerging markets and the gradual economic recovery in Europe and the US, the Taiwan Institute of Economic Research (TIER, 台經院) said yesterday.

The latest survey conducted by the Taipei-based think tank showed that respondents who felt bullish about business sentiment in the near future were up 11.8 percentage points last month to 31.9 percent, from 20.2 percent in October.

On the contrary, 13.2 percent of manufacturers polled viewed the climate as bearish, slightly up from 12.4 percent in October. Those who said business would remain the same dropped to 54.9 percent from 67.5 percent.

Chen Miao (陳淼), director of the macroeconomic forecasting center at TIER, said last month was normally a slow month for manufacturers, but strong demand from emerging markets, a gradual financial recovery in Europe and the US, and the Christmas shopping spree had boosted manufacturers’ confidence.

The business climate gauge for the manufacturing sector last month stood at 112.29 points, up from 109.12 points in October.

This marked the first rise after the index had posted three consecutive months of decline, the survey showed.

In a separate survey conducted by the Taipei Computer Association (TCA, 台北市電腦公會) that was released on Wednesday, 53 percent of companies that participate at Computex were also upbeat.

Taiwan’s Computex is the second-largest technology trade show in the world.

The TCA survey showed that technology manufacturers generally expected their business to increase in the first quarter next year compared with the current quarter.

This marks a changing pattern as the first three months of the year are traditionally slower than the fourth quarter, TCA said.

Companies in the cloud computing, tablet PC, USB 3.0, electronic readers and smart handheld devices businesses were among those most optimistic, it said.

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