The nation’s industrial production increased 3.51 percent year-on-year last month, the third consecutive month of annual growth despite the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, Ministry of Economic Affairs data showed yesterday.
Output from the manufacturing sector, which makes up more than 90 percent of industrial output, expanded by 4.15 percent, largely due to demand for electronic components, the data showed.
“Demand for electronic components remains robust due to new technologies and services, such as 5G, the Internet of Things, cloud computing and high-performance computing,” Department of Statistics Deputy Director-General Wang Shu-chuan (王淑娟) told a news conference in Taipei.
Demand for servers, laptops, and network and communications devices has continued to surge as people increasingly work and study from home during lockdowns worldwide, Wang said, adding that the production of LCD panels and related parts also increased, ending 17 consecutive months of annual declines.
After production of integrated circuits and LCD panels grew 32.27 percent and 3.49 percent respectively, total output of the electronic components industry increased 22.15 percent year-on-year, the data showed.
Meanwhile, production in the computer, electronics and optical components industry — which increased early last year due to firms relocating back to Taiwan and transferred orders due to the US-China trade dispute — increased by 1.75 percent year-on-year.
Attributing the small increase to a high comparison base, Wang said a decline in the production of camera lenses for mobile devices dimmed the sector’s performance.
“[Although] local firms increased output thanks to growing orders on the back of demand for electronics … the pandemic has dampened demand for smartphones,” she said.
Industrial production across non-tech industries also continued to plummet, the data showed.
The output of the base metals and machinery equipment sectors fell 6.08 percent and 14.1 percent respectively due to bearish market sentiment fostered by the spread of the coronavirus.
The output of the petroleum and coal products sector plunged 16.74 percent year-on-year as international crude oil prices declined to historic lows.
The decline in the output of non-tech industries was compounded by the pandemic’s heavy toll on the airline sector, Wang said.
The automobile and auto parts sector posted its largest year-on-year decline since the global financial crisis in 2009, 21.1 percent, which Wang blamed on customers postponing purchases of new vehicles due to the lockdowns, as well as supply chain disruptions in the mechanical parts industry.
The textile industry also posted its biggest setback since 2009, a 33.09 percent year-on-year fall in production output, the data showed.
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