Tue, May 20, 2014 - Page 13 News List

Manufacturing grew last quarter

By Helen Ku  /  Staff reporter

The production value of the nation’s manufacturing sector grew for the second consecutive quarter to NT$3.38 trillion (US$112.09 billion) last quarter amid growing demand for machinery and automobiles fueled by the global economic recovery, the Ministry of Economic Affairs said yesterday.

While the figure reflects a 4.02 percent decline from a quarter ago because of fewer working days from the Lunar New Year holidays, it marks a 0.26 percent growth on an annual basis due largely to increased demand for capital goods such as machinery and freight vehicles, the ministry said.

“Automobile production value expanded 10.54 percent year-on-year to NT$97.1 billion, mainly because of new car model launches, as well as vendors’ sales promotion programs,” the ministry said.

The ministry said production of small vehicles and commercial cars increased the most, adding that automobile parts output also increased on the back of rising car maintenance demand in the US and Europe.

In terms of machinery, demand for machine tools, cutting machines and transportation equipment increased in the previous quarter as businesses became more willing to make new investments amid the steady global economic recovery, the ministry said.

That raised the machinery sector’s manufacturing output 3.55 percent year-on-year to NT$139.1 billion last quarter, ending eight straight quarters of annual contraction, according to the ministry’s tallies.

A low comparison base is another factor behind the annual growth, the ministry said.

The production value of electronic components — the nation’s top manufacturing item — increased for the seventh consecutive quarter — rising 3.6 percent year-on-year — to NT$832.3 billion last quarter due to robust demand for mid-end and entry-level handsets that drove demand for chipsets, the ministry said.

Vigorous demand for chipsets prompts companies to increase their production capacity using advanced process technologies, boosting both output and market prices of wafer and integrated circuits as a result, it added.

However, the production value of chemical materials slid 1.32 percent year-on-year to NT$537.6 billion last quarter because of drops in both market prices and output, the ministry’s report said.

Production value of basic metals fell 5.6 percent year-on-year to NT$355.4 billion last quarter, while that of PCs, electronics and optoelectronics together slid 2.13 percent to NT$163.1 billion on the same basis, the report showed.

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