The information and communications technology (ICT) industry is likely to continue its role as a manufacturing sector driver this year, the Industrial Economics and Knowledge Center (產業經濟與趨勢研究中心) said yesterday.
The center forecast ICT output this year would reach NT$5.87 trillion (US$193.89 billion), up 4.98 percent from the NT$5.6 billion recorded last year.
The projected growth would outpace growth in the manufacturing sector as a whole, which the center said could reach 3.17 percent.
The increasing popularity of hand-held and wearable devices and tablet computers is driving the ICT sector as the global economy gradually improves, it said.
Though modest by comparison, Taiwan’s other manufacturing industries are predicted to see positive growth over the year, it said.
The center said the chemical industry’s output could grow by 3.14 percent to NT$5.27 trillion, the commodity industry could see a 1.93 percent increase to NT$2 trillion and the metals and electronics sector could rise 1.65 percent to NT$4.6 trillion.
Cheng Chih-chiang, a manager at the center, on Tuesday said the nation’s economy is likely to experience a slow, but steady recovery this year.
Despite the generally optimistic outlook, Cheng urged the government to encourage industrial transformation and restructuring while balancing national development, instead of focusing solely on the information and communications technology sector.