Industrial production up for 28th straight month in May

06/25/2022 06:04 PM
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CNA file photo
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Taipei, June 25 (CNA) Taiwan's industrial production in May rose by more than 4 percent from a year earlier, marking the 28th consecutive month of a year-on-year increase on the back of robust global demand for semiconductors, according to the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA).

Data compiled by the MOEA showed the industrial production index rose by 4.48 percent from a year earlier to 135.28 in May with the sub-index of the manufacturing sector, which accounts for more than 90 percent of the country's total industrial production, rising by 5.14 percent from a year earlier to 137.46, also marking the sub-index's 28th straight month of a year-on-year increase.

On a month-on-month basis, industrial production for May also rose by 2.81 percent and the sub-index of the manufacturing sector grew by 2.57 percent from a year earlier, while after seasonal adjustments, the May industrial production and the manufacturing sector's production trended down by 0.71 percent and 0.52 percent, respectively, the data indicated.

In the first five months of this year, industrial production rose by 6.06 percent from a year earlier while the sub-index for the manufacturing sector grew by 6.31 percent year-on-year, according to the MOEA.

Huang Wei-chieh (黃偉傑), deputy director of the MOEA's Department of Statistics, said an increase in popularity of emerging technologies, such as 5G applications, high-performance computing devices, and automotive electronics continued to push up demand for semiconductors.

In addition, digital transformation in many enterprises has further boosted the production of the local semiconductor industry, Huang said.

By sectors

In May, production generated by semiconductor manufacturers in Taiwan rose by 22.50 percent from a year earlier, serving as a driver for the electronics component industry, whose production increased by 14.17 percent from a year earlier, the MOEA said.

However, production of flat-panel suppliers fell by 19.83 percent from a year earlier in May, offsetting growth in the electronics component industry, as demand for displays showed signs of weakening, the MOEA added.

The MOEA said the computer and optoelectronics industry's production rose by 3.76 percent from a year earlier in May due to strong demand for internet equipment and devices used in cloud and data center services.

Huang said the growth showed that the impact from a supply shortage in components had eased to some extent.

However, the old economy sector is still feeling the pinch of the impact from China's COVID-19 lockdowns in several of its industrial cities such as Shanghai, and saw production weakening in May, Huang said.

Huang added that annual maintenance carried out by several old economy industries also affected their production in the month.

In May, production of the chemical material, base metal, and machinery industries fell by 6.67 percent, 3.84 percent, and 1.23 percent, respectively, from a year earlier, the MOEA's data showed.

The auto and auto parts industry reported a 16.17 percent year-on-year decline in production in May as China's lockdowns cut component supplies and an increase of domestic COVID-19 cases in Taiwan hurt buying interest in the local car market, the data indicated.

Outlooks

Looking ahead, Huang said Taiwan's outbound sales were expected to benefit from China's easing of lockdowns and the easing of border control by many other major economies, while emerging technologies are expected to bolster the local semiconductor industry, which has continued to expand production.

In June, the production sub-index of the local manufacturing sector is forecast to rise by up to 3 percent from a year earlier to between 137.16 and 141.16, Huang said.

However, uncertainties including geopolitical tensions and skyrocketing inflation worldwide may hurt the global economy and in turn affect Taiwan's production down the road, he added.

(By Cheng Hung-ta and Frances Huang)

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