Q1 manufacturing output growth hits 6-year high

2017/05/19 19:33:51 fontsize-small fontsize-default fontsize-big
Q1 manufacturing output growth hits 6-year high

Taipei, May 19 (CNA) The year-on-year growth in output of the local manufacturing sector for the first quarter of this year hit a six-year high on the back of a strong showing in the electronic component industry, particularly in the semiconductor and flat panel sectors, the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) said Friday.

The MOEA said that the production value of the manufacturing sector for the January-March period totaled NT$3.17 trillion (US$105 billion), up 11.35 percent from a year earlier, the highest increase since the first quarter of 2011, when the growth reached 14.53 percent.

Due to Taiwan's competitive semiconductor industry in the global market, as well as solid global demand for flat screens, the output of the local electronic component sector, which accounted for almost 30 percent of the manufacturing industry's total, gained 10.26 percent from a year earlier to NT$890.5 billion in the first quarter, the MOEA said.

The output of the semiconductor and flat panel businesses increased 9.86 percent and 33.0 percent, respectively, from a year earlier to NT$324.4 billion and NT$233.7 billion, the MOEA added.

In the computer and optoelectronics product sector, however, the production value fell 2.51 percent from a year earlier to NT$148.2 billion in the first quarter due to a drop in orders placed with local connector and electronic storage device makers, according to the MOEA.

On the back of a rebound in international crude oil prices, the production value of the chemical material sector for the first quarter gained 21.84 percent from a year earlier to NT$448.4 billion, marking the second consecutive quarter in which the sector's output grew at a double-digit pace, the ministry said.

The output of the base metal sector totaled NT$338.2 billion in the first quarter, up 33.52 percent from a year earlier, also marking the second consecutive quarter in which the sector enjoyed double-digit output growth at a time when steel product prices were on the rise, the ministry added.

The local machinery sector benefited from semiconductor makers' efforts to expand production capacity, and witnessed its output for the first quarter rising 2.71 percent from a year earlier to NT$143.9 billion, the MOEA said. Bucking the upturn in the manufacturing sector, the auto sector faced growing competition from imported cars, reporting a 1.77 percent year-on-year decline in Q1 output, which totaled NT$93.4 billion, the MOEA added.

Looking ahead, the MOEA said, since the global economy is on the road to recovery and international brands are expected to unveil new smart devices, the local manufacturing sector could continue to report a year-on-year increase in output in the second quarter.

(By Huang Ya-chuan and Frances Huang)
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