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.