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Business sentiment among manufacturers weaker in April

2019/05/24 20:26:48

Taipei, May 24 (CNA) Business sentiment in the local manufacturing sector weakened in April as the global economy was overshadowed by falling global demand and uncertainty amid trade tension between the United States and China, the Taiwan Institute of Economic Research (TIER) said Friday.

TIER, one of the country's leading economic think tanks, said the composite index for the manufacturing sector, which measures market sentiment, fell 0.77 points from a month earlier to 95.08 in April, breaking a four-month rising steak.

The think tank said that as global demand for base metals and plastics and chemical raw materials was on the decline and the semiconductor industry continued to suffer inventory adjustments, the local manufacturing sector turned cautious.

The think tank added that the unresolved trade dispute between Washington and Beijing further dampened local manufacturers' sentiment and undermined their confidence in the business outlook.

TIER said that a survey found that 23.5 percent of polled manufacturers said the market climate improved in April, down from 45.5 percent in a similar survey conducted in March, while 25.1 percent thought the market climate fared worse in April, up from 11.9 percent in the March poll.

The poll also found that 32.7 percent of the respondents said they expect the market climate to improve over the next six months, slightly up from 32.6 percent in a similar survey in March, while 19.6 percent said they expect the market climate will deteriorate over the next six months, up from 15.2 percent in the March poll, TIER said.

TIER said the sub-index for the property industry fell 0.25 points from a month earlier to 90.66 in April as the progress of many construction projects lagged behind schedule, which led the industry to turn downbeat over the business outlook.

In the service sector, the composite index also fell 0.53 points from a month earlier to 96.09 in April, partly because some securities houses incurred losses from their proprietary operations, TIER said.

In addition, the worse-than-expected hotel business and retail and food/beverage business also pushed down the composite index for the services sector, TIER said.

(By Pan Tzu-yu and Frances Huang)
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