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MOEA expects industrial output to see continued growth in May

TAIPEI--The Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) said yesterday that with more new handheld devices hitting the global markets, Taiwan's industrial production is expected to continue to report a year-on-year increase in May.

The MOEA said May could be the fourth consecutive month for the local industrial production index to post year-on-year growth after April's 4.80-percent rise, March's 3.16-percent increase and February's 6.83-percent growth.

The ministry is scheduled to release the May industrial production data on June 23.

In April, Taiwan's industrial production index hit 104.34, compared with 104.03 recorded in March as industrial production in the manufacturing sector rose 5.21 percent from a year earlier. The sector weighed more than 90 percent in the entire industrial production index.

April's industrial production growth largely reflected rising demand for Taiwan's semiconductor, light-emitting diode, solar energy and optoelectronics products, while orders on Taiwan-made machinery and petrochemical products also rose.

The ministry said as the global economy is staging a recovery, global demand for Taiwan's products showed signs of rebounding, which served as a catalyst to further push up local industrial production in May.

It said international brands' unveiling of budget mobile devices and Microsoft's end to support for the Windows XP operating system have triggered PC replacements, benefiting the local electronics sector.

The ministry said the local auto and machinery sectors have been also riding the waves of the recovery in global demand.

As a result, the ministry said, production output of the local manufacturing sector is expected to extend its momentum in the second quarter of this year from the previous three quarters.

The MOEA cited a survey as saying that 14.6 percent of the manufacturers polled thought their production for May grew from April, while 13.1 percent said their production fell from a month earlier.

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