Mon, Oct 22, 2012 - Page 13 News List

MOEA says industrial production may continue to grow

Staff writer, with CNA

Taiwan is expected to continue to report year-on-year growth in its industrial production index for last month on the back of recovering exports, the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) said on Saturday.

The ministry said the anticipated growth in industrial production also reflects a relatively low comparison base recorded over the same period of last year.

The ministry is scheduled to release last month’s industrial production data tomorrow.

In August, the industrial production index rose 1.89 percent from a year earlier to 136.60, which was also 1.80 percent higher than July, to hit the second-highest level after 139.90 was recorded in March last year.

The industrial production growth in August came largely after manufacturing activity improved with the sub-manufacturing index up 1.80 percent from July and up 2.02 percent from a year earlier on the back of an increase in electronics and chemical material production.

The ministry said Taiwan’s exports have improved after major central banks, including the US Federal Reserve, started implementing measures such as pumping funds into the market to boost the economy and lift global demand.

The nation’s exports last month hit a 14-month high to stand at US$27.17 billion, after six consecutive months of year-on-year decline. Exports rose 10 percent last month from a month earlier and also grew 10.4 percent from a year earlier.

Taiwan also stopped six months of year-on-year declines in export orders for last month with the value totaling US$37.66 billion, up 1.9 percent from a year earlier and up 3.9 percent from August.

The ministry said that due to the launch of new high-tech gadgets, such as handheld devices, production in the local electronics component sector is on the rise to boost manufacturing activity.

In addition, production in the local petrochemical sector has been gradually returning to a normal level, which is expected to make up the reduced output in the machinery sector, the ministry said.

According to a recent survey released by the ministry, 11 percent of respondents believed industrial production for last month will improve from August, while 66 percent thought the production climate will remain the same and 23 percent expected a deterioration.

The Chung-Hua Institution for Economic Research (中華經濟研究院), one of Taiwan’s leading think tanks, said last week that the economy has showed signs of bottoming out in the third quarter and is expected to accelerate in the fourth quarter.

The think tank cut its forecast for Taiwan’s economic growth for this year to 1.52 percent from an earlier estimate of 2.36 percent, but expected the growth will hit 3.59 percent next year.

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