Wed, Oct 31, 2012 - Page 13 News List

Manufacturing sentiment rebound snaps, TIER says

By Amy Su  /  Staff reporter

The business climate gauge for the manufacturing sector fell last month, ending two consecutive months of rebounding sentiment, indicating that the continuing global economic uncertainties have led to lower-than-expected seasonal demand for local manufacturers, a Taipei-based think tank said yesterday.

The latest survey, conducted by the Taiwan Institute of Economic Research (TIER, 台灣經濟研究院), showed the business climate gauge for the manufacturing sector had dropped to 90.29 points last month, from a revised 90.42 points in August, posting the first decline for the third quarter.

In the survey, 19.6 percent of the manufacturers polled said they were optimistic about business confidence last month, down from 24.9 percent in the August survey, while 44 percent of respondents said that they were pessimistic, compared with 35.6 percent in August.

“Despite exports last month showing annual growth, most of the momentum came from few specific industries, like the petrochemical and electronic sectors,” Gordon Sun (孫明德), director of the institute’s macroeconomic forecasting center, said by telephone yesterday.

Sun said most manufacturers in Taiwan still saw orders slide last month compared with July and August, with seasonal demand weaker than had been forecast.

Asked about business prospects for the next six months, 13.4 percent of respondents felt bullish, down from 23.4 percent in the August survey, while those who felt bearish stood at 34.6 percent last month, up from the 33.1 percent found in August, reflecting the ongoing impact from global economic woes could last through to the first quarter of next year, Sun added.

However, a separate survey conducted by the institute showed that business climate gauge in the service sector rebounded last month and may continue to recover in the near future, with the coming of the year-end sales season.

The service sector gauge rose from 88.16 points in August to 88.76 points last month, mainly due to the relatively strong performance of the stock market, the institute said.

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