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Business revenues in December hit new record

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Thanks to a better economy and New Year-related sales, local business revenues totaled NT$1.2542 trillion in December, setting a new single-month record and representing a 3.7-percent growth year-on-year, according to a report released by the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) yesterday.

Business revenues totaled NT$3.7036 trillion in the fourth quarter last year, which was a new single-quarter record, and represented 2.6-percent growth over the same period last year. Business revenues totaled NT$14.3077 trillion in 2013, which was also a single-year record.

Due to higher demand for laptops, automobiles and chemical raw materials, the wholesale industry saw 4.1 percent growth in December. Thanks to higher sales in automobiles and New Year-related products, the retail industry grew 2.8 percent. The food and beverage industry grew 2 percent, as sales related to marriage parties and companies' year-end banquets surged in December.

Industrial Production

The industrial production index in December 2013 was pegged at 103.48, a 5.07-percent increase year-on-year. More specifically, the mining and quarrying sector dropped 11.68 percent, the manufacturing sector grew 5.07 percent, the electricity and gas sector grew 1.14 percent, the water supply sector grew 0.26 percent and the construction sector grew 21.74 percent.

For the whole year of 2013, industrial production grew 0.75 percent compared with a year ago, and more specifically, the five sectors grew minus 4.97 percent, 0.66 percent, 2.13 percent, 0.56 percent and 3.61 percent, respectively.

The 5.07-percent growth in December marked the ninth moth of consecutive growth. The MOEA said that it is the result of economic recovery around the world as well as higher product sales related to the Chinese New Year. Of the four major manufacturing sectors, the metal and machinery industry, the IT electronics industry and the chemical industry rose 5.21 percent, 5.92 percent, and 5.87 percent, respectively, while the consumer goods industry dropped 0.35 percent.

Wholesale, Retail and Food Industries

Business revenues in December for the retail industry amounted to NT$348.3 billion, which was also a single-month record. The industry's business revenue totaled NT$3.8874 trillion in 2013, which was also a single-year record. Business revenues of the food and beverage industry in 2013 totaled NT$391.5 billion in 2013, which was a single-year record.

For the year of 2013, due to worse-than-expected exports, the wholesale industry grew a mere 0.2 percent. Thanks to higher private consumption and tourism-related consumption, the retail and food industries grew 1.9 percent and 1.6 percent, respectively.

Future Forecast

As the world economy is on track for recovery, and sales of handheld devices and automobiles are expected to grow, the MOEA forecast that the wholesale industry would grow in 2014. As the domestic economy is expected to recover in 2014, companies are expected to roll out new mobile devices and the tourism industry is expected to grow, the MOEA forecast the retail and food industries to grow steadily in 2014.

According to the MOEA's survey, 5.5 percent of companies expect higher business revenues in January than in December, while 85 percent expects level revenues, while 9.5 percent expects lower revenues.

The MOEA said that high vehicles sales are expected to continue in January, while sales related to year-end banquets and Chinese New Year products are also expected to last into January, contributing to higher sales in food products, clothing, and 3C products (computer, communication and consumer electronics).

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