Sentiment among local manufacturers turned more cautious last month as the global economy continues its mild pace of recovery, the Taiwan Institute of Economic Research (TIER, 台灣經濟研究院) said yesterday.
The latest survey conducted by the Taipei-based institute showed that the business climate in the manufacturing sector reached 98.82 points last month, up 0.42 points from the 98.40 points recorded in July.
The survey found that fir 50.9 percent of the manufacturers polled, sentiment remained unchanged last month from a month ago, while 27 percent said they felt more optimistic and 21 percent more pessimistic.
The poll also showed that 25 percent of manufacturers were bullish about the economy over the next six months, with 20 percent feeling bearish.
TIER president David Hong (洪德生) said that the weak momentum of the global economic recovery and low expectations of sales of Apple Inc’s two new iPhone models were the main factors affecting manufacturers’ outlook.
In the service sector, the business climate gauge declined by 0.77 points to 95.6 points last month from 96.37 the previous month, with retailers, banks, brokerages, transportation and warehousing firms becoming less optimistic than they were in July, the report showed.
Gordon Sun (孫明德), director of TIER’s economic forecasting center, said that the ongoing political dispute between President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) and Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) is likely to further dampen the service sector’s sentiment this month.
Sun said that the strife could cause the review of the government’s budget plan for next year to be stalled in the legislature, which would adversely affect the stock market.