Taipei, May 31 (CNA) The gloomy global economy and slowing domestic demand continued to weaken Taiwan's manufacturing sector in April, a local research institute said Thursday, adding that the sector's business prospects remain unclear for the rest of the year.
The Taiwan Institute of Economic Research (TIER) has estimated the overall score of its manufacturing indicator in April at 9.63, up by 0.40 points from 9.23 in March, with the sector flashing a blue light -- representing sluggishness -- for two consecutive months.
In terms of product categories, the computer sector still flashed a yellow-blue light representing coolness due to the impact of the European debt crisis and a transition period for new products, the institute said.
However, purchasing of computer products is expected to pick up in the second half of this year with the launch of a new operating system, it added.
The electronics component sector also maintained a yellow-blue light, but the sector's economic prospects are forecast to turn around in the second half of this year with the roll-out of a number of new flagship smartphones, according to the institute.
The TIER uses a five-color system to describe the state of the economy, with red, yellow-red, green, yellow-blue and blue representing overheated, warm, stable, cool and sluggish, respectively.
A blue light is flashed when the index falls below 10.5, and a score of between 10.5 and 13 represents a yellow-blue light, indicating a cooling economy.
(By Jeffrey Wu)