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Industrial production grows for 5th straight month

2017/10/24 11:51:19

Taipei, Oct. 24 (CNA) Industrial production in Taiwan grew for a fifth consecutive month in September, fueled by solid global demand at a time when the world economy is seeing a steady recovery, according to Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) data.

Taiwan's industrial production index for September rose 5.24 percent from a year earlier to 112.57 after a 3.29 percent year-on-year increase seen in August, MOEA data showed.

The index returned to positive growth in May and has gained momentum in the following months.

In particular, the sub-index for the manufacturing sector, which accounts for more than 90 percent of the country's total industrial production, rose 5.36 percent in September, marking the 17th straight month the sub-index has risen year-on-year.

The MOEA said the old economy sector outperformed the broader manufacturing sector during the month, with machinery production up 23.62 percent year-on-year as manufacturers install more automated equipment.

Demand for new machinery appeared particularly strong in the semiconductor, auto and aviation industries, the deputy director of the MOEA's statistics department, Wang Shu-chuan (王淑娟), said on Monday.

The auto and auto parts sector also saw double-digit production growth of 15.21 percent in September because of strong demand from China and North America and the launch of new models by car brands, the MOEA data showed.

Production of the base metal industry grew 9.79 percent from a year earlier in the wake of rising demand for steel products and the relatively low base of comparison that existed last year, the MOEA said.

Also moving higher was the chemical industry, which saw production grow 4.23 percent in September, buoyed by increased demand for certain resin products and better pricing power because of higher international crude oil prices.

The electronics component business bucked the upturn in overall industrial production, recording a 0.35 percent year-on-year decline in September, according to the MOEA.

Wang said the decline reflected a relatively high comparison base last year, when demand for 12-inch wafers was strong and many producers were rushing to rebuild their inventories. The production of semiconductor makers fell 8.02 percent year-on-year in September.

The flat panel sector saw production rise 6.57 percent, however, as demand for small and medium sized screens remained solid, the MOEA said.

In the first nine months of this year, industrial production grew 3.39 percent from a year earlier, with production in the manufacturing sector up 4.49 percent, the MOEA data showed.

Looking ahead, Wang said the launch of new products by international consumer electronics brands and an increase in applications in automotive electronics, the Internet of Things and highly efficient computing gadgets should continue to boost production in Taiwan's manufacturing sector in the fourth quarter.

Wang said she remained cautiously optimistic, expecting local industrial production growth to remain in positive territory during the October-December period.

(By Liao Yu-yang and Frances Huang)