Tue, Mar 06, 2018 - Page 12 News List

Industrial production index up 10.86%

PRE-HOLIDAY DEMAND:The highest monthly performance since the MOEA began collecting such data in 1953 was largely due to trending technological applications

By Lauly Li  /  Staff reporter

The nation’s industrial production index last month rose a better-than-expected 10.86 percent annually to a record high of 115.98, driven mainly by demand for crytocurrency mining and automotive electronics, the Ministry of Economic Affairs said yesterday.

The result was more than double the ministry’s estimate of 5 percent annual growth and marked the ninth straight month of year-on-year expansion, it said.

The index reading of 115.98 represented the highest monthly performance since the ministry began collecting such data in 1953, it said.

“Thanks to the trending technological applications, including crytocurrency mining, the production activity of Taiwan’s semiconductor industry last month was even better than in December last year, despite it being the traditional slow season,” ministry Deputy Director-General Wang Shu-chuan (王淑娟) told a news conference in Taipei.

Inventory building demand ahead of the Lunar New Year holidays in the technology and traditional industries also lent support to last month’s performance, Wang said.

The electronic components sector, the pillar of the nation’s industrial production, climbed 10.28 percent year-on-year last month, as production of semiconductors and flat panels grew from the same period the previous year, the ministry’s report showed.

Production of computers and optical products increased 12.74 percent annually, the first time a double-digit percentage year-on-year growth had been recorded in the past one year, the report showed.

Wang attributed the expansion to the surging production of smartphone casings, smartphone cameras and computer cooling fans that offset a continued weakness in a domestic smartphone company’s handset production.

The automobile and automotive components industry recorded strong production, with 17.25 percent annual growth last month, driven by the increasing repair and maintenance orders caused by heavy snowfalls and stormy weather in North America, Wang said.

The production of chemicals and basic metals grew 1.32 percent and 6.15 percent year-on-year respectively, while machinery goods were boosted 22.94 percent annually on the continued recovery of the global economy, which benefited production activity in traditional industry, Wang said.

In related news, the ministry said wholesale revenue added 10 percent to a record monthly high of NT$882.9 billion (US$30.14 billion) last month, supported by inventory building demand ahead of the Lunar New Year holidays.

However, revenue in the retail sector and restaurant and beverages sector contracted by 4.4 percent and 12.1 percent annually to NT$362.3 billion and NT$37.9 billion respectively last month, due to a higher comparison base because Lunar New Year shopping demand was in January last year, Wang said.

After factoring in the Lunar New Year, the combined revenue of the retail sector and restaurant and beverages sector in the first two months of this year is expected to grow from the same period last year, as domestic demand shows steady expansion, Wang said.

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