Ser­vice sec­tor re­mains slug­gish for sec­ond con­sec­u­tive month

The China Post - - BUSINESS -

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.

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