Taiwan’s industrial production index decreased 10.53 percent year-on-year to 91.38 last month, falling for a 15th consecutive month on an annual basis, as weak global economic growth continued to weigh on end-market demand and investment momentum, the Ministry of Economic Affairs said on Saturday.
The industrial production index gauges output in Taiwan’s four main industries: manufacturing, electricity and gas supply, water supply, and mining and quarrying.
Last month’s decline was the smallest contraction since March when the index dropped 16.03 percent from a year earlier. On a monthly basis, the index rose 7.28 percent, marking a second straight month of improvement, the ministry said in a report.
The manufacturing production index, which contributed 95.41 percent to the industrial production index, dropped 10.7 percent annually to 90.74 last month — also the 15th consecutive month of annual declines, but increased 7.86 percent from the previous month, the report said.
The production index for electricity and gas supply fell 4.92 percent from a year earlier, while the indices for water supply and mining and quarrying were down by 2.87 percent and 14.53 percent respectively, the report said.
In the first eight months of the year, the industrial and manufacturing production indices fell 16.49 percent and 17.10 percent year-on-year respectively, the ministry said, adding that the manufacturing production index is this month expected to decline from 6.4 percent to 10.6 percent annually.
The electronic components industry, which accounts for 49.57 percent of total manufacturing production, posted the largest output decline of 16.78 percent year-on-year last month, dragged by a 20.24 percent slump in semiconductor production due to inventory destocking throughout the supply chain, the report said.
In the first eight months of the year, the production of electronic components fell 23.34 percent from a year earlier, the report said.
The machinery industry reported the second-largest output decline of 16.65 percent last month, due to weakening demand for semiconductor production equipment, linear guideways, electronic production equipment and special machinery items, as firms remained conservative regarding capital investment because the slowing global economy.
From January to last month, machinery goods production contracted 19.34 percent from the same period last year, the report said.
However, the computer, electronic products and optical products sector’s output rose 2.83 percent, up for a second consecutive month, on the back of robust demand for servers, wireless communication equipment and switches as more companies embraced cloud data services, artificial intelligence applications and Internet transmission upgrades.
In the first eight months, the sector’s output decreased 3.68 percent year-on-year, the report said.
In traditional industries, producers of chemical materials and fertilizers last month posted a decline of 0.53 percent in output, the 21st straight month of negative growth, but suppliers of base metals reported that their output increased 0.78 percent, ending 20 months of consecutive declines.
Compared with the same period last year, the output of these two industries still declined 15.7 percent and 13.26 percent respectively during the eight-month period, the report said.
The automobile and vehicle parts industry’s output grew 1.3 percent year-on-year last month and increased 1.61 percent in the first eight months, mainly due to strong sales of several new vehicle models and the government’s promotion of electric buses, it said.
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