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Manufacturing sector likely to remain steady in October: think tank

TAIPEI -- Taiwan's manufacturing sector showed signs of recovery in September, and it should remain steady in October, the Taiwan Institute of Economic Research (TIER) said yesterday.

The think tank's manufacturing index flashed an encouraging yellow-blue light in September, ending six consecutive months in which it showed a blue light, indicating an economic slump.

Gordon Sun, director of the TIER's economic forecasting center, said he expected a similar result in October.

He said the rising monthly index in September was due to the launch of new electronics products, which led to increased orders to Taiwanese electronic components suppliers, and to improvement in the logistics sector driven by higher demand in the electronics sector.

Sun noted that growth in the electronics industry is not as explosive as it has been in recent years, and he did not expect a major upswing in the sector in October, saying that demand for electronic components would remain flat.

There will be modest growth, however, that will result in the manufacturing index posting another yellow-blue light in October, indicating that the economy will continue to stay steady.

Sun said one possible source of positive growth in the coming months could be sudden demand for auto parts from the United States after Hurricane Sandy devastated the United States' eastern seaboard.

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