Fixed asset purchases (excluding land) by the manufacturing sector last quarter surged 38.2 percent on an annual basis to NT$339.7 billion (US$10.88 billion), the largest increase since the fourth quarter of 2010, the Ministry of Economic Affairs said yesterday.
In the first half of the year, the sector’s fixed asset purchases increased 33.6 percent to NT$664.2 billion from a year earlier, the ministry said.
Fixed assets include machinery and various types of equipment, buildings and construction projects, as well as furniture, fixtures and vehicles.
The electronic components industry topped other industries last quarter as it purchased NT$211.9 billion in fixed assets, up 53.9 percent year-on-year and comprising 62.4 percent to the sector’s overall purchases.
“Since the first quarter, semiconductor companies have been expanding production capacity while investing in advanced processing technologies,” Department of Statistics Director-General Wang Shu-chuan (王淑娟) said by telephone.
Next was the chemical materials industry, which made fixed-asset purchases of NT$20.1 billion, up 11.4 percent year-on-year as petrochemical firms added new manufacturing plants and expanded production lines.
Similarly, the metal product industry increased its purchases by 79.2 percent to NT$13.5 billion as companies added new machinery to their plants, while local suppliers for the wind power industry continued their investments, the ministry said.
Purchases by the computer, electronic goods and optical components industry increased 7.2 percent to NT$12.2 billion as firms specializing in servers and network communication products rushed to relocate their production facilities back home, Wang said.
However, the machinery equipment industry fell behind as purchases decreased 5.8 percent to NT$9.7 billion due to a high comparison base last year, the ministry said.
Separately, total revenue last quarter brought in by the manufacturing sector (including overseas production) declined 2 percent annually to NT$6.66 trillion, with overall revenue in the first half slipping 2.5 percent to NT$12.91 billion, the ministry said.
The computer, electronic goods and optical components industry presented the only bright spot in the sector as it registered 5.9 percent growth in revenue to NT$2.09 trillion thanks to rushed orders of personal computers, smartphones and consumer electronics on concerns abotu an escalating US-China trade spat.
“We are still witnessing effects from the unresolved trade conflict between the US and China,” Wang said. “We hope that the sector’s revenue situation would turn around by the fourth quarter.”
Wang predicted that local manufacturers’ revenue would increase on an annual basis this quarter as the consumer electronics industry enters its traditional peak season.
“5G is the keyword here; we’re counting on stronger demand as companies deploy related technologies,” she said.
DEVELOPING TALENT: The electronics contractor is looking to recruit people to work in core tech fields and emerging industries like electric cars and robotics Hon Hai Precision Industry Co (鴻海精密), the world’s largest contract electronics maker, has launched a recruitment drive, offering a monthly salary of no less than NT$45,000 (US$1,485) to university graduates. For those with a master’s degree, the starting pay would be NT$52,000 per month at the minimum, while doctorate degree holders would receive at least NT$60,000 a month, Hon Hai said a statement issued early this week. The latest recruitment drive is aimed at attracting talent in core technology fields — artificial intelligence, semiconductors and next-generation mobile communications — and emerging industries — electric vehicles, digital healthcare and robotics, the
NEW CONSIDERATIONS: An airline manager said the idea is tempting, as demand for air cargo is strong, but issues such as training loaders would need to be addressed Taiwanese airlines might repurpose passenger jets to carry cargo in their cabins to offset lost revenue amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Airlines are considering applying to the Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA) for permission to transport cargo in passenger cabins after StarLux Airlines Co (星宇航空) last month became the first among the nation’s airlines to offer cargo-only flights using the normal cargo holds of its three Airbus SE A321neo passenger jets. “We are considering whether to increase our capacity by putting cargo on passenger seats,” Starlux spokesman Nieh Kuo-wei (聶國維) told the Taipei Times by telephone. “The advantage is that we can improve revenue,
GLOBAL CUTS: CEO Warren East said the firm’s focus was on strengthening financial resilience, so it would likely reduce salary costs by at least 10% this year Rolls-Royce Holdings PLC is scrapping its targets and final dividend to shore up its finances as the British aero-engine maker’s customers around the world ground planes due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Rolls-Royce, one of Britain’s most historic industrial names, which before the pandemic struck was trying to emerge from a multiyear turnaround plan, has suspended its dividend for the first time since 1987. The company’s engines power Airbus SE and Boeing Co’s widebody jets, but more than 60 percent of that fleet is now grounded, according to aviation data provider Cirium. Rolls-Royce is paid by airlines based on how many hours they fly. Over
PAINFUL CONTRACTION: Passenger loads in February on flights between Taiwan and China, Hong Kong and Macau fell by more than 90 percent compared with December Even with more than NT$450 billion (US$14.85 billion) in financial aid from the Executive Yuan’s expanded relief package, local tourism-related businesses are unlikely to rebound from the COVID-19 pandemic any time soon, a central bank report released last month said. The NT$1.05 trillion relief package includes NT$472 billion in financial assistance for tourism and transportation sectors, such as airlines, hotels, travel agencies, taxis and tour buses. However, a March 20 central bank report said that the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on global and domestic economies are far greater than that of the 2002-2003 SARS epidemic, despite any benefits from delayed purchases