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

across In­dus­tries

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.

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