Manufacturing, service sector sentiment improves

07/25/2017 08:12 PM

Taipei, July 25 (CNA) Business sentiment toward the local manufacturing and service sectors improved in June, with the indexes climbing from the previous month, according to a survey released Tuesday by the Taiwan Institute of Economic Research (TIER).

TIER, one of the country's leading economic think tanks, said the domestic economy benefitted from a global economic recovery, which led to a more positive outlook among companies in the local manufacturing and service sectors.

In June, the manufacturing composite index rose 1.02 points from a month earlier to 96.49 points, after five months of decline, the think tank said. The service composite index, meanwhile, climbed 0.47 points to 95.39, rising for the fourth consecutive month, TIER said.

In the local construction business sector, the composite index also improved in June, rising 2.38 points from the previous month to 90.32, after three straight months of downward movement, TIER said.

Riding the wave of higher global demand, Taiwan's export orders grew 11.2 percent year-on-year in the first half of 2017 and showed a monthly increase in June for the 11th consecutive month, according to Gordon Sun (孫明德), director of TIER's Economic Forecasting Center.

He said the strong performance contributed to a more upbeat outlook on exports, as indicated in the survey.

In addition, sentiment in the manufacturing and service sectors was boosted in June by a weaker Taiwan dollar, which helped exporters make foreign exchange gains after coping with a strong Taiwan dollar in the previous five months, Sun said.

The strength of the local equity market also spurred business confidence, he said, referring to the fact that the weighted index on the local main board breached the 10,000 point mark in mid-May for the first time in 17 years and continued to climb in June.

In the construction sector, Sun said sentiment improved in June based on the government's infrastructure development plan and the heavy delivery of residential property development projects.

In June, transactions of homes, shops and offices in Taipei, New Taipei, Taoyuan, Taichung, Tainan and Kaohsiung rose by an average 16 percent from a month earlier to 20,351 units, following a 16 percent month-on-month increase in May.

(By Tsai Yi-chu and Frances Huang)

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