Sat, May 20, 2017 - Page 12 News List

Manufacturing revenue growth hits six-year high

By Lisa Wang  /  Staff reporter

The nation’s manufacturing sector last quarter saw its revenue grow at the fastest annual pace in almost six years, supported by strong demand for advanced chips and flat-panel TVs, according to statistics released by the Ministry of Economic Affairs yesterday.

Revenue from local manufacturers last quarter grew at an annual rate of 11.35 percent to NT$3.17 trillion (US$104.93 billion), compared with NT$2.85 trillion in the first quarter of last year, the data showed.

“The growth rate is the highest since the second quarter of 2011,” the ministry said in a statement.

As the growth momentum is to carry into this quarter, the ministry expects revenue from the manufacturing sector to climb further.

“Local manufacturers are to benefit from improving global economic growth and new product launches by smartphone makers,” the ministry said.

Apple Inc is expected to release its next-generation iPhone in the July-to-September quarter, which would likely help lift sales at its local suppliers, including Hon Hai Precision Industry Co (鴻海精密), the ministry said.

In addition, increasing demand for electronic components used in Internet of Things devices, cars and servers is to help energize domestic manufacturing activity, it said.

The electronic components segment is the biggest revenue contributor to the nation’s manufacturing sector.

In the first quarter of this year, revenues of the local semiconductor and LCD panel segments grew 19.86 percent and 33 percent year-on-year to NT$324.4 billion and NT$233.7 billion respectively, the ministry said.

The growth helped the electronic components sector’s revenue grow 10.26 percent annually to NT$890.5 billion in the quarter, it added.

The base metal (including steel) and petrochemical segments also saw their revenues jump 33.52 percent and 21.84 percent year-on-year to NT$338.2 billion and NT$448.4 billion respectively, backed by global commodity price hikes, the ministry said.

The machinery and equipment segment reported a 2.71 percent annual increase in revenue to NT$143.9 billion on the back of technology upgrade demand from Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (台積電) and LCD panel makers, as well as robust global demand for automation equipment.

However, the computer and optical electronics segment reported a ninth straight quarter of annual decline in revenue, down 2.51 percent to NT$148.2 billion, due to sluggish demand for connectors and storage products, the ministry said.

The automotive and auto components segment also saw revenue contract 1.77 percent annually to NT$93.4 billion, the ninth consecutive quarter of decline, the ministry said, attributing the contraction to market share loss by locally assembled cars to imported vehicles.

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