Manufacturing and service sectors pick up: TIER poll

GRADUAL PICKUP::The institute expects the pace of economic recovery to accelerate in the second quarter, the seasonal peak for export-oriented sectors

By Amy Su  /  Staff reporter

Wed, Dec 26, 2012 - Page 13

The business climate gauges for domestic manufacturing and the service sectors rebounded last month on the back of a modest recovery in the global economy, the Taiwan Institute of Economic Research (TIER, 台灣經濟研究院) said yesterday.

However, the Taipei-based think tank said the recovery in Taiwan’s economy would be more noticeable in the second quarter of next year, the seasonal peak for export-oriented industries.

TIER’s latest survey showed that the business climate gauge for the manufacturing sector rose to 90.84 points last month, up 1.48 from a revised 89.36 in October. The climate gauge for the service sector also rose to 86.8 points, up 0.46 from 86.34 in October, it said.

In the survey, more than half of respondents expressed confidence in their businesses last month, as they did in the same survey taken in October. A total of 15.3 percent said they were optimistic, down from 19.7 percent in October, while 34.4 percent were pessimistic compared with 45 percent in October.

“Last month’s result could be seen as a signal that the economy has started rebounding,” Gordon Sun (孫明德), director of the institute’s macroeconomic forecasting center, told a media briefing.

Although the pace of recovery remains slow, it will pick up momentum in the second quarter next year, Sun said.

Asked about business prospects over the next six months, 34.1 percent of respondents felt bullish, up from 22.1 percent in the October survey, while those who felt bearish stood at 20.6 percent last month, down from the 29.9 percent found in October, which is in line with Sun’s predictions.

Facing the expected depreciation in Japanese yen in the near future, the institute maintained a mixed attitude toward the impact this would have on Taiwan’s economy.

The yen’s depreciation could benefit Taiwanese companies that import materials from Japan because this would translate into lower costs, but it might pose a threat to select Taiwanese electronics firms, as it could strengthen Japanese firms’ export competitiveness, Sun said.