Back to list

Industrial production drops in February for 3rd month

2019/03/26 15:39:36

Taipei, March 26 (CNA) Taiwan's industrial production fell in February from a year earlier, marking the third consecutive month of a year-on-year decline, due to a global economic slowdown and weakening demand for cellphones, according to the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA).

MOEA data showed that the industrial production index for February fell 1.80 percent from a year earlier to 86.15 after a 1.06 percent drop in December and a 1.09 percent fall in January.

In addition to the unfavorable circumstances in the global market, the MOEA said, the fall in February also reflected a relatively high comparison base over the same period of last year.

Month-on-month, industrial production fell 19.78 percent in February due to the nine-day Lunar New Year holiday, which reduced the number of working days in the month, the data showed. After seasonal adjustments, the monthly drop was 0.24 percent, according to the data.

In the manufacturing sector, which accounts for more than 90 percent of the country's total industrial production, the sub-index fell 1.75 percent from a year earlier to 86.48, the MOEA said.

In February, manufacturing fell 20.18 percent from a month earlier, but after seasonal adjustments, it showed a 0.31 percent rise, the ministry said.

The index for electronics component production fell 6.14 percent in February from a year earlier, the steepest year-on-year decline since April 2016 when production dropped 9.62 percent, according to the MOEA.

Production of integrated circuits declined 6.10 percent from a year earlier in February on weakening demand for smartphones and mining devices used for cryptocurrency transactions, while flat panel production dropped 6.95 percent due to shrinking demand for small and medium sized smartphone screens, the data showed.

Bucking the downtrend, production in the computer and optoelectronics industry rose 25.19 percent in February from a year earlier, marking the fifth consecutive month of double-digit increase, which offset the overall weakness of industrial production to some extent, the MOEA said.

Production in the chemical raw material industry fell 4.43 percent year-on-year in February due to lower product prices, while base metal production rose 4.92 percent from a year earlier, reflecting a relatively low comparison basis over the same period of last year as well as rising domestic demand, the ministry said.

Production in the machinery industry fell 8.90 percent from a year earlier in February as orders from foreign buyers declined amid trade tensions between the United States and China, the MOEA said.

In the auto and auto parts industry, production fell 2.74 percent in February from a year earlier as shipments dropped due to weaker global demand, the MOEA said.

In the first two months of the year, Taiwan's industrial production fell 1.41 percent from a year earlier, with the sub-index for the manufacturing sector down 1.38 percent, the MOEA said.

Wang Shu-chuan (王淑娟), deputy head of the MOEA's statistics department, said industrial production is likely to drop 4-7 percent year-on-year in March, which is usually a slow season in the industrial sector.

However, production might rise gradually later in the year amid efforts to develop 5G technology, artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things and automotive electronics, Wang said.

(By Tsai Peng-min and Frances Huang)