Manufacturing sector goes down in February, says TIER
With Lunar New Year occurring in February, bringing with it fewer working days in the month, industrial production, foreign orders and growth of imports all declined compared with January, according to a report released by Taiwan Institute of Economic Research (TIER) yesterday.
Three of the five indices that make up TIER’s manufacturing indicator fell in February — demand, prices and raw material input. The other two indices climbed up — cost and environment.
The indicator in February flashed a recession-level “blue” signal, which sits is the bottom of the economic light spectrum.
Looking at performances across industries, the proportion of companies that flashed the “blue” signal rose from 34.49 percent in January to 65 percent in February.
The proportion of firms whose performance flashed the sluggish “yellow-blue” signal grew from 18.75 percent to 28.77 percent.
Proportion of manufacturers that flashed the stable “green” signal plunged from 27.78 percent to 5.94 percent.
Companies that flashed the rising “yellow- red” light plummeted from 14.41 percent to 0.29 percent. No firms performed well enough to flash a booming “red” light.
Close Look at Performance
The clothing industry took a hit in February, TIER said. Synthetic fiber producers tuned down prices to reflect lower oil prices, hurting company revenues. In addition, spring apparel recently rolled out has lower price tags compared with winter clothes. The textile and clothing industries flashed the “blue” and “yellow-blue” signals, respectively.
Since the U.S. cut down its shale oil production in February, oil prices have ceased falling, TIER said. Nevertheless, relatively low oil prices are constricting local firms’ production. With less output compared with a year ago, the oil and coal industry as well as the chemical industry both flashed a “blue” signal.
With prices of China’s steel products and the world’s raw steel material in the lows, Taiwan has cut down its steel prices as well. Along with Europe’s anti-dumping measures and seasonal factors associated with Lunar New Year, production and orders for base metal both saw negative growth. The base metal industry flashed a “blue” signal.
Although the first quarter is nor- mally considered an off season for the electronics industry, iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus sales continued to have momentum. Those along with the much expected Apple Watch are fueling the local semiconductor and integrated circuitrelated supply chain.
However, the seasonal factors in February hurt foreign orders received by electronics and information and communication technology businesses. The electronics parts and components industry flashed a “yellow-blue” signal, while the computer, electronics products and optical instrument industry flashed a “blue” signal.
(Left) Visionary Dynamics’ ( ) permanent-magnet brushless direct drive motor is displayed in this photo, taken at the 2015 Taipei AMPA exhibition yesterday. It was the 31st year that the Taipei International Auto Parts and Accessories Show was held, attracting automobile and motor fans as well as manufacturers to view the newest innovations. The motor by Visionary Dynamics won the prize money for the best new creation award this year.