Commercial revenue down slightly in March, says MOEA
Commercial revenue in Taiwan fell slightly in March from a year earlier largely due to falling sales in information technology products to Japan, according to the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA).
Statistics compiled by the MOEA showed that commercial revenue, which is comprised of the retail, wholesale and dining services sectors in Taiwan, fell 0.7 percent year-on-year in March to NT$1.18 trillion ( US$38.06 billion), after a 0.9 percent increase in February.
After seasonal adjustments, sales of the local commercial sector for March fell 0.8 percent from a month earlier to NT$1.20 trillion, the data indicated.
The MOEA said that with shipments of notebook computers and flat panel TVs to the Japanese market on the decline, revenue posted by the local wholesale sector unexpectedly fell 1.5 percent year-on-year to NT$829.3 billion in March.
The MOEA said that the Japanese yen’s depreciation has led to a drop in orders placed by buyers in Japan for Taiwan’s IT devices, while some Japanese IT makers dropped out of the market, which also impacted the country’s purchases from Taiwan.
The ministry said that at the same time, a fall in steel product prices dragged down sales of the building material vendors, which was also cited as a cause for the decrease in March’s wholesale revenue.
In that month, revenue posted by the local retail sector rose 1.3 percent from a year earlier to NT$315.5 billion, the highest March figure ever recorded, as sales in energy efficient home appliance suppliers, online vendors, department stores and supermar- kets registered gains, the MOEA said,
In the dining services sector, sales for March rose 1.9 percent from a year earlier to NT$34.3 billion after some restaurant chains made efforts to expand their networks. March was the second consecutive month for the sector to report year-on-year sales growth.
In terms of the first quarter of this year, commercial revenue in Taiwan totaled 3.47 trillion, down 0.1 percent from a year earlier. Sales in the wholesales sector reached NT$2.37 billion, down 1.0 percent year-on-year, while sales in the retail sector hit NT$983.5 billion, up 1.8 percent, and sales in the dining services sector stood at NT$107.7 billion, up 1.9 percent.
Looking ahead, the MOEA said, commercial sales are expected to register another decline in April amid food safety concerns after pesticide-tainted tea drinks hit local chain beverage stores.
According to the ministry, tea drink chains in Taiwan account for 60-70 percent of the total sales in the local beverage segment so there was no doubt that rising food safety fears are expected to have an impact on commercial revenue.