The Ministry of Economic Affairs yesterday said that due to trade uncertainties, the manufacturing sector could see a quarterly decline in production value at the end of next month, following a nine-quarter streak of steady annual gains.
During the final quarter of last year, the production value of the nation’s manufacturing sector rose 4.84 percent annually to NT$3.6 trillion, slowing down in momentum.
That brought last year’s tally to NT$14.39 trillion, 6.49 percent higher compared with a year earlier.
Overall, chemical raw materials, oil and coal products, and basic metals benefited from rising prices and saw the fastest growth last year, pushing their production value up 12.2 percent, 26.27 percent and 11.96 percent respectively, data from the Department of Statistics showed.
At the same time, electronic components rose 2.59 percent annually to NT$3.79 trillion, while machinery products gained 7.57 percent annually to reach a new record high, the data showed.
Last year, computing and optoelectronic products posted modest growth of 0.72 percent, while automobiles and automotive components dipped 5.36 percent from a year earlier, due to shrinking sales of domestically made cars.
Last quarter, oil and coal products, raw chemical materials and basic metals recorded accelerated annual growth rates of 25.26 percent, 2.73 percent and 8.88 percent respectively, due to a low comparison base last year, as production capacities had been cut for annual maintenance.
The data also indicated that while machinery products rose 3.34 percent annually last quarter, on the back of steady demand for smart manufacturing and automation solutions, trade uncertainties had dragged overseas investments in the industry to their lowest point since the second quarter of 2017.
The technology sector made gains last quarter, as more and more companies expanded production in the domestic market, while robust demand for networking equipment, industrial computers, solid state drives and other computing equipment led to a 9.12 percent increase in production value.
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