Service sector remains sluggish for second consecutive month
The index for Taiwan’s services activity flashed a “yellow-blue” light in April for the second month in a row, signaling a sluggish climate, according to the Commerce Development Research Institute (CDRI).
The CDRI, a Taiwan economic think tank, said in a report Friday that the service industry (ISI) index stood at 98 points in April, one point higher than in March, but still in the yellow-blue range of 93-99.
The entire service sector was adversely affected in April by falling revenues in the transportation business, the CDRI said.
The April ISI, one point lower than the CDRI’s forecast, also remained weak as a result of sluggish commercial sales in Taiwan during the usual slow season for the service sector, the report said.
The slow season usually occurs after the Lunar New Year holiday, which fell in February this year, reducing the number of working hours, including overtime, in the sector.
This year, however, the jobless rate in April fell to 3.63 percent from 3.72 percent the previous month, the CDRI report said.
As a result, the sub-index for the labor market rose 1 point from March to 99 in April, but failed to boost the ISI significantly, the think tank said.
The sub-index for securities trading in April remained unchanged from March at 100, amid uncertainty over the global economic fundamen- tals, the CDRI said.
The sub-index for business operations also remained the same as in March, standing at 98 points, the report showed.
The CDRI said that despite the sales promotions by retailers ahead of Mother’s Day, consumption did not increase much.
The think tank uses a five-color system, in conjunction with the ISI, to describe the climate of the local service sector, focusing on three major segments — securities trading, the labor market and wages, and business operations.
Red signals overheating, yellowred indicates slight overheating, green represents steady growth, yellow-blue signals sluggishness, and blue indicates recession.