Taiwan’s industrial output index expanded 3.93 percent to 134.12 points last month on international demand for computers and consumer electronics, but the momentum might slow amid global economic uncertainties, the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) said yesterday.
Total industrial output for the first seven months expanded 9.25 percent from the same period last year, to 130.54 points.
“Easing supply-side disruptions had helped production return to more normal levels in Taiwan [last month],” Katrina Ell, associate economist at Moody’s Analytics, said in a research note yesterday.
However, subdued global demand stemming from the US and Europe would weigh on production in the coming months, the Sydney-based Ell said.
Manufacturing sector production — which accounts for more than 90 percent of the nation’s total factory output and includes the electronic, chemical, machinery, foodstuff and textile industries — rose 3.73 percent last month.
The increase was primarily because of the output growth in tobacco, computers and consumer electronics, the automotive sector and components, Huang Ji-shih (黃吉實), director-general of the ministry’s statistics department, said yesterday at a press conference.
Output of electronics components expanded 5.09 percent last month, marking the second consecutive month of single-digit growth for the category, down from double-digit expansion earlier this year. The slower momentum was caused by lower utilization rates of chip and panel fabs, Huang said.
The output of chemicals, on the other hand, saw a slump of 8.64 percent because Formosa Plastics Group (台塑集團) had operations at parts of its petrochemical complex in Yunlin County suspended because of a spate of industrial safety mishaps.
That resulted in limited supplies to other chemicals firms throughout the nation, Huang added.
Separately, the ministry yesterday released the nation’s domestic trade figures for last month. One-fourth of domestic trade was composed of retail trade, while the rest was wholesale trade.
Total revenues hit a record NT$1.24 trillion (US$42.8 million), up 4.61 percent year-on-year and 1.95 percent month-on-month.
Wholesale trade was up 4.15 percent year-on-year to NT$887.6 billion, while retail was up 5.47 percent to NT$317.9 billion. Food and beverages were up 8.79 percent to NT$32.6 billion.