Taipei, Sept. 21 (CNA) Taiwan's manufacturing sector was hit by a year-on-year sales drop in the second quarter of the year, the fifth consecutive quarterly fall, the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) said Wednesday.
The revenue generated by the manufacturing sector amounted to NT$6.13 trillion (US$195.1 billion) in Q2, down 5.2 percent from the same quarter of last year, according to the latest MOEA statistics.
It marked the fifth quarterly drop in the sector's sales since last year's Q2, MOEA officials said. However, they predicted growth in the next quarter, thanks to hot sales of Apple's iPhone 7 and a rise in the output of the manufacturing sector.
Because many parts and components for iPhones are produced by Taiwanese companies, sales of the device will boost the local manufacturing sector's revenue, the officials said.
In Q2, the revenue generated by the electronic and optical products industry were NT$2.19 trillion, the highest in the overall manufacturing sector. However, the figure posed a year-on-year drop of 6 percent due to a global economic slowdown and a sluggish market for laptops and tablets, the MOEA said.
The electronic components manufacturing sector recorded revenue of NT$1.23 trillion in Q2, down 1 percent from the same quarter of last year, while the chemical materials, petroleum and coal products, and basic metal sectors posed revenue drops of 9.9 percent, 20.7 percent and 9.3 percent, respectively.
The machinery and equipment manufacturing sector registered a 3.2 percent year-on-year decline in revenue in Q2, due to weak momentum in the global economic recovery, the MOEA said.
Despite the negative sales growth, the local manufacturing sector's investment in fixed assets increased 14.4 percent year-on-year to NT$262.5 billion in Q2.
The figure represented the fourth quarterly growth and the highest rise since 2011, according to the MOEA.
The ministry attributed the growth to big semiconductor firms' continuous moves to expand their advanced and special production processes.
(By Huang Chiao-wen and Elizabeth Hsu)ENDITEM/J