Manufacturing to rebound: ITRI

By Helen Ku  /  Staff reporter

Fri, Jul 19, 2013 - Page 13

The nation’s manufacturing output is likely to stage a stronger rebound in the second half of the year than it did in the first half, the Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI, 工研院) said yesterday, citing economic recoveries in the US and Japan as the main drivers.

The institute’s latest forecast expects the market value of Taiwan’s manufacturing output to grow 3.01 percent year-on-year to NT$4.76 trillion (US$159 million) this quarter, followed by annual growth of 3.95 percent to NT$4.44 trillion next quarter.

These figures compare with an annual increase in output of 1.68 percent to NT$4.01 trillion in the first quarter and 2.6 percent growth to NT$4.35 trillion in the second quarter, ITRI said.

Total manufacturing output for the whole of the year is likely to rise 2.84 percent to NT$17.56 trillion from last year, when output contracted by 0.54 percent compared with 2011, the institution said.

However, the 2.84 percent rise is a downward revision from the 4.23 percent growth the institution forecast in May.

The nation’s manufacturing market value expanded slowly in the first six months of the year due to the sluggish recovery of the global economy, the depreciation of the yen and decreased export orders from China, ITRI researcher Peter Chen (陳志強) told a press conference.

“With the US Federal Reserve possibly planning to slow its bond-purchasing pace, which suggests that the global recovery is around the corner, the nation’s manufacturing output is expected to receive a boost soon,” Chen said.

The Fed ending quantitative easing would benefit Taiwan in the long term, he said.

The institution expects the nation’s chemical sector output to increase the most this year from last year with 4.25 percent growth, followed by the information technology and electronics sector with 3.93 percent growth, the livelihood product sector with 2.99 percent, and the metals and engineering segment with 0.16 percent.

Meanwhile, Taiwan’s electronic component output is forecast to increase by between 1.8 percent and 3.6 percent annually this year due to local smartphone and tablet vendors rolling out smartphones priced at less than US$300 and tablets costing less than US$100.

“Though Intel Corp’s new Haswell processor and Microsoft Corp’s upgraded Windows 8 platform are not likely to offer a significant boost to the PC market, increasing demand for low-cost handheld devices in emerging markets will very likely keep driving up local supply chain shipments,” Chen said.