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Fri, May 24, 2002 - Page 18 News List

Factory closures fall


Taiwan factory closures fell by almost two-thirds in the first four months of the year as a rebound in export orders prompted manufacturers to boost production.

Companies shut 978 factories during the period, 63 percent fewer than the same period last year, government figures showed.

The drop in factory closures is the latest sign Taiwan has pulled out of its worst recession on record. Reviving demand for computer chips, mobile phones and other goods helped the economy grew 0.9 percent last quarter from a year earlier, snapping a three-quarter contraction.

The number of new factory openings more than tripled in April from a year earlier to 381, the government said.

Still, the lure of China's lower production and labor costs are pulling some manufacturers out of Taiwan. New factory openings in the first four months of the year fell by one-tenth to 1,224 as more companies expanded in China.

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