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Latest figures indicate improving economy: MOEA

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- With the global economy on track for recovery, local industrial production and business revenues hit new records in May, according to a report released by the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) yesterday.

The industrial index was pegged at 109.56 in May, the highest on record. The May's figure was a 5.19-percent growth year-by-year, and marked the fourth consecutive month of growth.

The manufacturing sector, which constitutes more than 90 percent of industrial production, grew 5.3 percent year-by-year.

With regard to the four major industries in the manufacturing sector, the IT electronics industry grew 8.44 percent, the metal and machinery industry rose 6.42 percent, and the chemical industry grew 0.31 percent. The commodity industry, however, declined 0.4 percent.

Higher output in semiconductor, LED, solar cells, chemical materials, cars, machinery, steel, and petrochemical materials, provided the growth momentum in May, the MOEA said.

Electronics and Semiconductor Products Outperformed

With strong sales of mobile devices around the globe, orders for electronics products grew over 12 percent in May. Foreign orders totaled US$38.02 billion in May, which was a 4.7-percent growth year-by-year.

Production of electronics parts and components has picked up pace, providing momentum to the manufacturing industry. The industry's production index was pegged at 125.09 in May, which was a new record. The semiconductor production index registered at 145.18 in May, which was also a new record.

Business Revenues Indicate Strong Domestic Consumption

The wholesale sector grew 3.8 percent in May. With a more stable economy, the retail sector and food sector both grew more than 4 percent in April and May, indicating a surge in domestic consumption, the MOEA said.

Business revenues in May totaled NT$1.2188 trillion, which marked the ninth consecutive month of growth. In addition to a rebound in consumption, the Mother's Day and Duanwu Festival also contributed to the growth in consumption, according to MOEA Department of Statistics Deputy Director General Yang Kuei-hsien (楊貴顯), who added that car promotions also drove purchase.

According to General Chamber of Commerce of the Republic of China Chairman Lai Chang-yi (賴正鎰), both domestic demand and foreign demand have increased compared with last year, and judging by the recently released economic figures, Taiwan may soon wave goodbye to the recession.

The MOEA forecast further growth in June. With wider application in smart devices, cloud technology and Internet of Things, industrial production is expected to pick up momentum in June. With the opening of FIFA World Cup, the MOEA expects growth in business revenues in June too.

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