Sat, Mar 30, 2013 - Page 13 News List

Manufacturing sector in decline: TIER

By Amy Su  /  Staff reporter

The performance of the nation’s manufacturing sector declined last month, mainly affected by fewer working days because of the Lunar New Year holiday, an economist at the Taiwan Institute of Economic Research (TIER, 台灣經濟研究院) said yesterday.

However, the manufacturing sector may start to recover in the second quarter, following the end of the traditionally weak first quarter, the institute added.

The manufacturing sector’s cyclical movement stood at 9.36 points last month, down 4.8 points from a revised 14.16 points in January, the Taipei-based think tank said in its monthly report.

The results showed the manufacturing sector’s cyclical movement flashed a “blue” indicator — implying declining sentiment — last month from a “green” indicator in January, which signified a steady sentiment, the report said.

“The shortened working month resulting from the Lunar New Year holiday dragged down manufacturers’ production and sales last month,” Gordon Sun (孫明德), director of the institute’s macroeconomic forecasting center, said by telephone.

Combining the data in the first two months, the manufacturing sector still showed a “yellow-blue” indicator, which represents weak sentiment, Sun added.

Sun said the manufacturing sector may show some improvement following the end of the first quarter.

However, trends in the Chinese economy should be carefully monitored, as they are closely linked to Taiwan’s exports, Sun said, citing that various economic indicators in China also showed a decline due to the effects of last month’s Lunar New Year holiday.

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