The performance of the nation’s manufacturing sector last month likely remained sluggish, an economist at the Taiwan Institute of Economic Research (TIER, 台灣經濟研究院) said on Friday, ahead of a report on the sector’s business climate to be released later this month.
The shortened working month resulting from the Lunar New Year holiday dragged down manufacturers’ production and sales last month, said Gordon Sun (孫明德), director of the institute’s macroeconomic forecasting center.
The projection came as the manufacturing sector’s cyclical movement flashed a “yellow-blue” indicator — implying weak sentiment — in January for a second straight month, the Taipei-based think tank said in a report on Friday.
The manufacturing sector’s cyclical movement stood at 12.88 points in January, up 1.54 points from a revised 11.34 points in December last year, the institute said in its monthly report.
Among the main industries in Taiwan, machinery equipment, automobiles, electronics components and chemistry products displayed a “green” indicator, signifying steady momentum, in January, the report showed.
The institute said the revised data for December last year indicated that business sentiment among domestic manufacturers had bucked the worsening trend recorded in the previous nine months.
Sun said the data also indicated that the sector’s sentiment had slightly improved in the first two months of this year, following the temporary solution to the US’ “fiscal cliff” and the rebound in the Chinese economy.