Industrial output rises second month

ELECTRONICS RECOVERY::The 0.88 percent growth was driven largely by electronics components. In commercial sales, retail and restaurants grew, but wholesale dropped

By Kuo Chia-erh  /  Staff reporter

Sat, Jul 23, 2016 - Page 12

The nation’s industrial production last month rose 0.88 percent year-on-year, supported by rising global demand for electronics components, the Ministry of Economic Affairs said yesterday.

Last month’s industrial output rose for a second consecutive month, following a revised 1.9 percent increase in May, the ministry’s data showed.

Manufacturing output, which accounts for more than 90 percent of total industrial production, increased 1.58 percent last month from the same period a year ago, the ministry said.

“The growth last month mainly came from the output of electronics components, but does not mean the nation’s economy is recovering. We still need to observe other industries’ performance in the future,” Department of Statistics Senior Executive Officer Wang Shou-yu (王守玉) told a news conference.

Still, Wang said the ministry is optimistic about industrial output this month, forecasting an annual growth of less than 1 percent if semiconductor firms maintain their competitive advantages.

The ministry’s latest data showed that the output of the electronics components industry, the pillar of the manufacturing sector, last month rose 6.79 percent year-on-year, thanks to a 14.6 percent growth in semiconductor production amid demand for communications chips, she said.

In addition, the output of computers, electronics and optical components last month increased 1.69 percent, boosted by growth in the global “smart,” wearable device market, Wang said.

However, the output of the machinery and equipment industry last month declined 11.48 percent, hurt by weakening corporate investments due to a sluggish global economy, she said.

Separately, the ministry also released the latest statistics on the nation’s commercial sales, with mixed showings from the wholesale, retail and restaurant sectors.

The wholesale sector last month saw sales drop 2.5 percent annually to NT$805.8 billion (US$25.13 billion), due to the shrinking orders of notebook computers and LCD TVs from Japan, the ministry said.

The retail sector last month enjoyed a 0.5 percent increase in revenue to NT$335.8 billion, due to strong vehicle sales, while revenue in the restaurant sector rose 1.9 percent to NT$36.3 billion on the back of expansion by local chain operators, the ministry said.

Wang said the wholesale sector this month might continue to suffer from decreasing orders from Japan, despite the upcoming Ghost Festival. However, both the retail and restaurant sectors might see sales continue to rise in the summer, she added.