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Output of manufacturing sector up for 9th straight quarter

2019/02/23 16:31:42

Taipei, Feb. 23 (CNA) Although the pace of global economic growth was slowing down, Taiwan's manufacturing sector still reported a year-on-year increase in production value for the ninth consecutive quarter during the last quarter of 2018, according to the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA).

Data compiled by the MOEA showed the output of the local manufacturing sector totaled NT$3.60 trillion (US$117 billion), up 4.84 percent from a year earlier.

But the fourth quarter growth moderated from an increase of 8.41 percent in the third quarter and a 9.03 percent increase in the second quarter since trade tensions between the United States and China created uncertainty over global demand, the MOEA said.

In addition, the fourth quarter's output also fell 0.7 percent from a quarter earlier, the MOEA added.

For the entire year 2018, the production value of the local manufacturing sector rose 6.49 percent from a year earlier to NT$14.39 trillion, the data showed.

In terms of individual industries in the sector, the output of the local electronics component industry hit a new high of NT$3.79 trillion in 2018, up from 2.59 percent from a year earlier, while the production value of the local machinery industry also reached a record high of NT$723.1 billion last year, up 7.57 percent, the data indicated.

In the fourth quarter alone, except for the auto and auto parts industry, all of the other major industries in Taiwan reported a year-on-year increase in production value, the MOEA said.

The output of the electronics components industry grew 1.40 percent from a year earlier to NT$994.8 billion during the October-December period with the production value of semiconductor firms up 9.42 percent, offsetting the impact that has resulted from a 4.94 percent decline suffered by flat panel makers, due to falling prices of large-sized screens, the data showed.

In the three-month period, the output of the machinery industry totaled NT$187.1 billion, up 3.34 percent from a year earlier and the growth was the smallest since the second quarter of 2017 as the Washington-Beijing trade frictions capped global demand, the data indicated.

Meanwhile, the production value of the local computer and optoelectronics device industry hit NT$181.4 billion in the fourth quarter, up 9.12 percent from a year earlier, the highest growth since the fourth quarter of 2011, the MOEA said.

The MOEA said the output of the base metal industry and the chemical raw material industry rose 8.88 percent and 2.73 percent, respectively, to NT$380.4 billion and NT$486.5 billion in the fourth quarter, the MOEA added.

However, the auto and auto parts industry suffered a 10.82 percent year-on-year decline in production value, which totaled NT$88.8 billion in the wake of weakening demand for passenger cars and rising competition from foreign car brands, according to the MOEA.

The MOEA said that due to the impact of trade tensions between the U.S. and China on the global economy, as well as slow season effects in the electronics sector, the production value of the local manufacturing sector for the first quarter of this year is expected to fall from the previous quarter.

(By Liao Yu-yang and Frances Huang)
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