September industrial production experiences lackluster growth
By John Liu, The China PostTAIPEI, Taiwan -- The industrial production index registered at 100.17 in September, which was a 1.06-percent increase year-on-year, according to a report released yesterday by the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA).
October 24, 2013, 12:07 am TWN
The manufacturing sector, which constitutes more than 90 percent of industrial production, grew 0.73 percent year-on-year.
The industrial production index registered 103.27 in the third quarter, which was the second highest quarterly figure in history.
With regard to the four major industries in the manufacturing sector, the IT electronics industry grew 1.47 percent, the metal and machinery industry rose 0.18 percent, and the commodity industry grew 0.67 percent. The chemical industry declined 0.09 percent.
Major Lines of Production
The basic metals industry enjoyed the highest annual 9.99-percent increase, while the electronics parts and components industry increased 2.75 percent, and the chemical materials industry grew 3.88 percent.
Due to new smartphone and hand-held devices rolling out in the market, demand for electronic chips, wafer foundry and integrated circuits continued to grow, driving up output in the electronics parts and components industry, the MOEA said.
The computer, electronic and optical products industry saw a 3.61-percent decrease, while the machinery and equipment industry saw a 9.01-percent drop, and the motor vehicle and parts industry declined 10.10 percent.
Fierce competition in the mobile devices market, as well as declining demand for TV sets and global positioning systems, have contributed to lower production levels in the electronic and optical products industry, the MOEA said.
MOEA's Future Outlook
Although emerging economies have experienced slower economic expansion, the MOEA said there are reasons to stay optimistic. The ministry pointed out that American financial problems relating to the government shutdown and debt ceiling debacle have been resolved, and the economies of Britain, France and Germany have seen better-than-expected performances. Developed nations' economic performances are expected to offset economic decline in emerging economies, the MOEA said.
In addition, the local semiconductor industry's advanced production facilities and optical component businesses remain competitive, the ministry said, adding that demand is expected to stay strong for high-quality steel, upstream petrochemical materials, solar energy and LED-related products. These factors are likely to sustain production output in the fourth quarter, the MOEA said.
Survey of Manufacturers
According to the ministry's survey, 12.1 percent of manufacturers in the nation expect higher production output in October compared with September, while 69.6 percent of those surveyed expect to see the same level of output, and 18.4 percent expected lower production.
The September directional movement index for production output stood at 46.8, while the directional movement index for production output value stood at 50.7. A reading of above 50 indicates an expected increase in output over the previous month. The MOEA forecast that October's production index will be similar to September's.