Industrial pro­duc­tion hits new record for March


The industrial pro­duc­tion in­dex com­piled by the Min­istry of Eco­nomic Af­fairs (MOEA) reg­is­tered at 112.84 in March, grow­ing nearly 7 per­cent year-on-year and hit­ting a record high for the same month.

The largest part of growth came from a boom­ing elec­tron­ics parts sec­tor. Tak­ing the in­te­grated cir­cuit in­dus­try as an ex­am­ple, out­put soared 24.89 per­cent.

The first-quar­ter pro­duc­tion in­dex reg­is­tered at 104.6, a his­toric high com­pared with the same pe­riod over past years, also mark­ing 6.47 per­cent growth from the pre­vi­ous year.

Both the chem­i­cal ma­te­rial in­dus­try and the ma­chin­ery in­dus­try saw dou­ble-digit growth in March.

The chem­i­cal ma­te­rial in­dus­try jumped 13.6 per­cent due to in­ven­tory re­fill and higher de­mand be­cause of an­nual main­te­nance car­ried out by petro­chem­i­cal plants in Asia, in ad­di­tion to a low base pe­riod a year ago.

The ma­chin­ery equip­ment

in- dus­try surged 14.14 per­cent due to ris­ing de­mand as lo­cal busi­nesses ex­pand fa­cil­i­ties in Southeast Asia and Chi­nese com­pa­nies ramp up au­to­ma­tion on fac­tory floors.

Look­ing into the fu­ture, while de­mand for mo­bile chips de­clines, the ad­vance of the In­ter­net of Things, cloud ser­vice and smart chips are pro­jected to cover the slack, the MOEA said.

Out­put of the chem­i­cal ma­te­rial in­dus­try is also ex­pected to grow as im­pact from low oil prices be­gins to sub­side. With for­eign or­ders for ma­chin­ery con­tin­u­ing to in­crease, the MOEA pre­dicts the growth trend in the pro­duc­tion sec­tor will con­tinue in the sec­ond quar­ter.

How­ever, for the month of April, the MOEA’s sur­vey con­cluded that industrial out­put will decline.

Busi­ness Rev­enues in March

In a sep­a­rate re­port re­leased yes­ter­day, the MOEA said busi­ness rev­enues to­taled NT$1.17 tril­lion in March, which marked a 0.7-per­cent an­nual decline.

The whole­sale sec­tor dipped 1.5 per­cent. While sales of home elec­tron­ics, cos­met­ics and medicine grew, rev­enues were par­tially off­set by less pur­chas­ing of in­for­ma­tion tech­nol­ogy and elec­tron­ics prod­ucts from Ja­pan, fewer con­struc­tion ma­te­rial sales as a re­sult of lower steel prices and an un­der­per­form­ing food in­dus­try, which left its peak sea­son af­ter the Chi­nese New Year.

The re­tail sec­tor gained 1.3 per­cent, thanks largely to swelling sales in im­ported cars, en­ergy and wa­ter-con­serv­ing home elec­tron­ics, e-com­merce and gen­eral con­sumer mer­chan­dise. The fuel busi­ness plum­meted 23.2 per­cent be­cause of low oil prices, how­ever.

The food sec­tor rose 1.9 per­cent as restau­rants im­ple­mented a brand di­ver­si­fi­ca­tion strat­egy. Sales reached an all-time high NT$107.7 bil­lion for the first quar­ter.

Look­ing into the fu­ture, the MOEA fore­sees a boom­ing car mar­ket as do­mes­tic brands roll out spe­cials and for­eign brands be­come lower-priced due to de­press­ing for­eign cur­rency.

Sales for food, cos­met­ics, health prod­ucts, med­i­cal equip­ment and other high-end prod­ucts are also pro­jected to go up dur­ing Tomb Sweep­ing Fes­ti­val ( ) hol­i­days. In ad­di­tion, a com­puter show in April also boosted sales for the in­for­ma­tion and com­mu­ni­ca­tion tech­nol­ogy in­dus­try.

How­ever, the growth will be off­set par­tially by a de­crease in or­ders from Ja­pan and drop­ping steel prices. All in all, the MOEA an­tic­i­pates April’s busi­ness rev­enues will be sim­i­lar to those in March.

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