The nation’s industrial output rose 4.51 percent month-on-month and 5.19 percent year-on-year last month, driven by the strong production of electronic components, the Ministry of Economic Affairs said yesterday.
For the first five months, industrial production expanded 3.61 percent from the same period last year, the ministry said.
Yang Kuei-hsien (楊貴顯), deputy director-general of the ministry’s statistics department, said technology companies’ development in smart gadgets and cloud-based services is likely to continue driving the production output of electronic components in the coming months.
“Semiconductor, machinery and optoelectronics can be expected to remain the major drivers of industrial production this month,” Yang told a press conference.
“However, crude oil price hikes and monetary policy adjustments in developed countries remain uncertainties that cannot be neglected,” he said.
Manufacturing — which accounts for more than 90 percent of industrial output — also expanded 5.3 percent from a year earlier, thanks to increased output of electronic components and automobile-related industries.
Output of electronic components increased 10.33 percent last month from a year ago as the production of semiconductors, LEDs, solar batteries and optoelectronics all increased, while cars and car part production rose 12.72 percent from the same period last year.
However, output of flat panels for LCD TVs shrank 3.9 percent last month from a year earlier, because of weaker-than-expected market demand and pricing competition in the industry, Yang said.
For this month, 12.9 percent of the polled manufacturers said their production would grow from last month and 12.9 percent forecast declining output, with about 73.6 percent saying their production would remain unchanged, the ministry said, citing a survey.
Separately, the ministry said commercial sales — which include the wholesale, retail and restaurant sectors — expanded for the ninth consecutive month to NT$1.21 trillion (US$40.35 billion) last month.
That figure is up 2.2 percent month-on-month and 3.9 percent year-on-year, leading cumulative sales growth of 3.1 percent to NT$5.8 trillion during the first five months, the ministry said.
Yang said increased consumption of food products around Mother’s Day and ahead of Dragon Boat Festival was the main cause behind the sales growth last month.