Sat, Sep 29, 2012 - Page 14 News List

Manufacturing cyclical movement continues rise

By Amy Su  /  Staff reporter

Manufacturing sentiment rebounded last month for the second straight month as uncertainties over the global economy gradually fade, the Taiwan Institute of Economic Research (TIER, 台灣經濟研究院) said yesterday.

The Taipei-based think tank’s latest report classified the manufacturing sector’s business climate as flashing “blue” — implying a decline — for the sixth straight month.

However, the reading for cyclical movement reached 10.03 points last month, up 0.39 points from the revised 9.64 points posted in July, for the second consecutive month, the report said.

“Despite the sector’s sentiment still being in the slowdown zone, the rising trend for cyclical movement reflected some upsides over the near future,” Gordon Sun (孫明德), director of the institute’s macroeconomic forecasting center, said by telephone.

Sun said he expected the manufacturing sector to start flashing “yellow-blue” — representing weakness — from this month, led by momentum from the electronic components industry.

The launch of new smartphone and tablet products from the late third quarter to the fourth quarter, such as Apple Inc’s iPhone 5 and iPad mini, Google Inc’s Nexus 7 and Amazon.com Inc’s Kindle Fire 2, could help boost sentiment and shipments in the industry, Sun added.

Sun said segments with relatively sluggish sentiment, like the steel and cement industries, may be boosted next year on the back of China’s 12th five-year plan, which runs from last year to 2015.

In the institute’s survey for last month, major industries in the essential goods segment and the transportation segment generally flashed steady “green” and recovering “yellow-red” lights last month under rising demand, the report’s data said.

However, most of the industries in the petrochemical and rubber segments, as well as those in the metal segment, indicated pessimistic sentiment by flashing a “blue” light continuously, the institute’s statistics showed.

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