The nation’s manufacturing industry is expected to see revenue grow at a faster pace of 3.2 percent this year as an improving global economy propels higher demand for electronics and higher commodity prices, the Industrial Economics and Knowledge Center (IEK, 產業經濟與趨勢研究中心) said yesterday.
The projection also reflects a boost in the second half from the launch of Apple Inc’s new iPhones, which are expected to have an extensive effect on the nation’s information and communications technology sector, the center said.
“End-product demand has turned out to be brisker than we had imagined, thanks to improving macroeconomics,” IEK policy and regional research division deputy director Peter Cheng (陳志強) told a media briefing.
Manufacturing industry revenue is forecast to expand to NT$17.43 trillion (US$573.2 billion) this year, compared with last year’s NT$16.89 trillion, which would be the first annual growth after two years of contraction, the center said.
The forecast is better than the center’s estimate three months ago of annual growth of 2.52 percent, but the manufacturing industry has still not recovered to its level prior to 2014.
“The world’s economic growth still looks fragile and black swans in the US, Europe and North Asia are poised to take away the growth momentum in the second half,” Cheng said.
The IMF forecast that the global economy would grow 3.4 percent annually this year, faster than last year’s 3.1 percent, he added.
Revenue of the information and communications technology sector, the biggest contributor to the nation’s manufacturing industry, is expected to grow 3.96 percent year-on-year to NT$6.22 trillion this year, outpacing an earlier estimate of a 3.47 percent expansion.
The basic metal and machinery sector would be another pillar of the local manufacturing industry this year, mainly due to a steep hike in iron ore prices, with revenue likely to grow 0.52 percent this year to NT$4.64 trillion, Cheng said.
Due to rebounding crude oil prices, revenue of the petrochemical industry would increase 5.87 percent to NT$4.37 trillion this year, compared with a previous estimate of a 5.48 percent increase, the center said.
Revenue of the livelihood sector — including the textile industry — could grow 1.72 percent annually to NT$2.21 trillion, up from an earlier 0.92 percent growth forecast, the center said.