Wed, Jan 24, 2018 - Page 12 News List

Industrial output hits new record high

CONSUMER-FACING:Sales in the retail sector rose 1.2 percent, while revenue in the food and beverage sector grew 2.9 percent — their best annual increases since 1953

By Lauly Li  /  Staff reporter

The nation’s industrial output last month expanded by 1.2 percent annually, bringing last year’s industrial production index to a record high of 109.63, up 2.9 percent, the Ministry of Economic Affairs said yesterday.

The manufacturing sector index, which contributed more than 92 percent to industrial output, last year gained 3.74 percent annually to 111.42, its highest level since records started in 1953, the ministry said.

“The continued recovery of the global economy benefited the nation’s manufacturing sector last year,” Department of Statistics Deputy Director-General Wang Shu-chuan (王淑娟) told a news conference in Taipei.

Last month, the manufacturing sector grew 0.93 percent annually, the 20th consecutive month of annual expansion, ministry data showed.

The machinery equipment industry contributed 0.93 percent growth, jumping 7.41 percent annually last month on rising demand for industrial automation worldwide, Wang said.

Driven by demand for flash memory products, printed circuit boards and ICs, production of electronics components last month rose 0.9 percent year-on-year, she said.

The production of computers and optical products last month increased 2.94 percent annually, ending two months of annual contraction, supported by surging production for semiconductor testing equipment, which offset the weak output of a domestic smartphone company’s handsets, Wang said.

The output of vehicles and automotive components was a dark spot in the manufacturing sector last month, with a 2.09 percent annual decrease amid aggressive competition from foreign automakers, she said.

The manufacturing sector’s production this month is estimated to grow 5 percent from the same period last year, due to a lower comparison base and the ongoing global economic recovery, she added.

The nation’s wholesale revenue last month grew 3.5 percent annually to NT$886.8 billion (US$30.16 billion) on strong shipments of smartphones, servers and memory products, the ministry said in a separate statement.

Wholesale revenue last year rose 5 percent to NT$10.02 trillion, the largest annual increase in the past seven years, it said.

Annual sales in the retail sector climbed 1.2 percent to NT$4.14 trillion, while yearly revenue in the food and beverage sector grew 2.9 percent to NT$452.3 billion, it added.

The retail and food and beverage sectors recorded their best year-on-year performances since 1953, ministry data showed.

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