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Think tank set to release Jan. PMI data

TAIPEI -- The Chung-Hua Institution for Economic Research (CIER), one of Taiwan's leading think tanks, said it is scheduled to release the January purchasing managers' index (PMI) Feb. 6.

The CIER used to release the monthly PMI data on the first day of the following month, but due to the six-day Lunar New Year holiday, the announcement of the January figure has been delayed.

Analysts said the market has kept a close eye on whether local manufacturing activity continued to expand after the PMI data for December rose for two months in a row.

The December PMI rose to 53.6, up from November's 52, indicating that the local economy was growing at a stable pace.

The December growth continued the trend from November, when the PMI took its first positive turn since a high of 62.4 in March.

A PMI reading of above 50 indicates expansion in manufacturing activity, while a figure below 50 signals contraction.

CIER President Wu Chung-shu said the PMI growth in December largely resulted from increasing demand before the Lunar New Year holiday, but added that the data in the following month could pull back.

Wu said that whether manufacturing activity will continue its expansion trend will be determined by data that will be released in the months after the new year holiday.

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