Tue, Sep 26, 2017 - Page 12 News List

Manufacturing confidence climbs to three-year high

Staff writer, with CNA

The manufacturing composite index hit a three-year high last month as business sentiment in the local manufacturing sector improved on the back of solid export performance, according to a survey released yesterday by the Taiwan Institute of Economic Research (TIER).

TIER, a leading think tank, said the domestic economy has benefitted from a global economic recovery that has boosted exports, which account for about 60 percent of GDP, making export-oriented manufacturers more upbeat.

Service sector business sentiment also improved last month, with the local equity market moving ahead after the weighted index on the main board in mid-May breached 10,000 points for the first time in 17 years, the institute said.

The manufacturing composite index for last month rose 2.04 points from a month earlier to 102.65, marking the third consecutive monthly increase, TIER said.

The figure was the highest since August 2014, when the index stood at 102.76.

Meanwhile, the composite index for the service sector rose 1.46 points from a month earlier to 95.87, the institute said.

In addition rising share prices, the uptrend resulted from the peak consumption season during the summer vacation period, which boosted retail sales, the institute said.

TIER Economic Forecasting Center director Gordon Sun (孫明德) said that Taiwan’s exports were boosted by strong global demand for electronic devices and machinery, while a recovery in raw material prices also lifted sales of local exporters.

Taiwan’s exports rose 12.7 percent last month to US$27.77 billion, an almost three-year high, Sun said, adding that it beat market estimates that predicted single-digit export growth.

However, Sun cautioned that imports of capital assets by the semiconductor industry fell for the second consecutive month, raising concerns that sales of Apple Inc.’s new iPhones, unveiled on Sept. 12, could be shy of market forecasts, preventing local integrated circuit firms from investing more.

If such worries turn out to be true, Taiwan’s exports in the second half of the year could be affected and the manufacturing sector would likely suffer, Sun said.

Comments will be moderated. Keep comments relevant to the article. Remarks containing abusive and obscene language, personal attacks of any kind or promotion will be removed and the user banned. Final decision will be at the discretion of the Taipei Times.

TOP top