Wed, Sep 26, 2018 - Page 12 News List

Industrial output up on demand

CIRCUIT SLOWDOWN:Integrated circuits had slower-than-expected annual growth of 1.05% due to a virus attack on TSMC last month and a high comparison base

By Ted Chen  /  Staff reporter

The nation’s industrial production last month rose from a year earlier, marking the sixth consecutive month of gains amid solid global demand, Ministry of Economic Affairs data showed yesterday.

The critical economic index last month grew 3.37 percent monthly and 1.33 percent annually to 112.96, the ministry said in its monthly report.

The industrial production index posted its second-highest reading and its 27th consecutive monthly gain, it said.

The manufacturing index, which accounted for 90 percent of total industrial output, rose 3.75 percent sequentially and 1.85 percent annually to 112.95, the report found.

Overall, the manufacturing index for electronic components rose 3.75 percent sequentially and 1.96 percent annually to 115.23, the data showed.

Integrated circuits, a major component of the nation’s export-oriented high-tech manufacturing sector, posted slower-than-expected growth of 1.05 percent annually to 114.65, marking its lowest pace this year, while monthly growth reached 10.13 percent, ministry data showed.

The slower growth was due to a computer virus attack at Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) early last month, which disrupted production at the world’s largest chipmaker, Department of Statistics Deputy Director-General Wang Shu-chuan (王淑娟) told a news conference.

The poor showing also had to do with the high base of comparison last year, Wang said, adding that growth momentum remains stable for the nation’s integrated circuit industry.

LCD displays and modules dipped 3.1 percent annually, but inched up 0.14 percent monthly to 122.2 percent, due to waning demand for small-to-medium-sized panels, ministry data showed.

Expectations of rising demand from technology manufacturers, in particular those in the semiconductor industry, have led to gains in the machinery and automation equipment index, the ministry said.

Driven by strong demand, the machinery index rose 4.82 percent annually to 122.19, but dipped 0.37 percent from a month earlier, it said.

Wang forecast a 2 percent increase in the manufacturing index for this month as mobile devices enter the peak sales season.

She said that the growth rate might be muted due to the smaller number of working days this month on account of the Mid-Autumn Festival holiday.

Production in the base metal industry increased 3.84 percent from a year earlier on rising demand for steel, while production in the auto and auto parts industry fell 11.55 percent due to Ghost Month, during which consumers usually avoid buying big-ticket items, such as cars and homes, on the belief that it will bring bad luck.

Additional reporting by CNA

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