Industrial production grew 2.28 percent year-on-year last month, thanks to robust growth in semiconductors and the return of Taiwanese firms, which helped boost sales of electronics goods and optical components, the Ministry of Economic Affairs said yesterday.
Output from the electronics industry climbed 9.5 percent year-on-year last month, the largest increase in 10 months, with semiconductors rising 19.99 percent, the ministry said.
The ministry attributed the increase to local companies supplying more new components for global brands, including Apple Inc and Samsung Electronics Co, as they launched products earlier this month.
Expansion of 5G deployment also helped raise shipments of companies in the wafer foundry and IC packaging industries, the ministry said.
However, LCD panel output declined 14.11 percent, as rising production in China led to a global oversupply, it said.
As more companies relocated back home, the production of servers, switches, routers and automotive electronics rose significantly last month, lifting the output of electronics goods and optical components by 33.25 percent, for an 11th consecutive month of expansion, the ministry said.
Excluding the return of Taiwanese companies, the electronic goods and optical components sector would have seen minor output growth, it said.
“We expect the [electronic goods and optical components] industry to continue to benefit from the return of Taiwanese companies next quarter,” Department of Statistics Director-General Wang Shu-chuan (王淑娟) told a news conference in Taipei.
“However, the non-tech industry is likely to remain under a cloud due to uncertainties amid the US-China trade dispute,” she said.
Due to a slowdown in overseas demand, machinery equipment output dipped 17.98 percent last month, while base metals fell 10.59 percent, the ministry said.
The chemical materials industry also saw production drop 5.06 percent due to regular maintenance, it added.
In the first eight months of the year, industrial output slid 1.18 percent year-on-year, but full-year output might be better than last year if the electronics industry sees more robust growth from the launch of new devices, Wang said.
A separate report released yesterday by the ministry on domestic trade showed that total sales reached NT$1.26 trillion (US$40.57 billion) last month, compared with NT$1.297 trillion a year earlier.
Domestic trade — including the wholesale, retail and food-and-beverage sectors — showed mixed results last month, with the wholesale sector registering an annual decrease of 5.7 percent to NT$879.4 billion, due to declines across the board except for the pharmaceutical and cosmetics industries, the ministry said.
As domestic consumption grew at a steady pace, both retail and F&B sectors saw their revenue increase for the sixth consecutive month last month to hit the highest August levels on record, the ministry said.
The retail sector saw sales climb 4.5 percent annually to NT$308.8 billion, bolstered by steady demand for general merchandise as well as rising e-commerce, foodstuff and automobile sales, while the food and beverage sector’s sales rose 5.7 percent to NT$72.2 billion on the back of summer vacation, holiday sales and more food delivery services, the ministry said.
In the first eight months of the year, the wholesale sector’s revenue declined 3.1 percent to NT$6.72 trillion, while the retail sector’s revenue increased 2.7 percent to NT$2.51 trillion and the food and beverage sector’s sales rose 5 percent to NT$546.3 billion, ministry data showed.
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