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September 23, 2017

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Economic indicators steady in October: NDC

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Taiwan's overall economic monitoring indicators flashed green for the fourth straight month in October, indicating the nation's economy has remained on the track for a steady recovery, according to statistics released on Monday by the National Development Council (NDC).

Both leading indicators gauging economic prospects for the next three months and coincident indicators measuring performance for a given month show an upward trend, indicating that the local economy will continue to gain momentum for further growth, NDC officials said.

The NDC has adopted a five-color monitoring system to gauge the island's economic performance. A green light indicates stable expansion, a blue signal represents sluggish performance and red means booming performance. In addition, yellow-blue means the economy is improving from sluggishness and yellow-red indicates the economy is gradually warming.

The composite score for a green monitoring light usually ranges from 23 to 31 points, and the October score increased by one point from a month earlier to 24. Of the nine components that constitute the overall monitoring indicator, the customs-cleared exports and production value of the manufacturing sector each gained one point to get a yellow-blue light, up from blue, while machinery and electrical equipment imports lost one point for a yellow-red light, down from red. The light for the remaining six components remained unchanged.

Meanwhile, the leading index edged up 0.21 percent from September to 100.82 in October, for the eighth straight month of growth.

Among the seven sub-indexes that make up the index, those of export orders, the TAIEX average closing price, the net accession rate of employees on industry and services payrolls and the real monetary aggregates M1B saw positive cyclical movements from the previous month. By contrast, the SEMI book-to-bill ratio and building permits witnessed negative cyclical movements.

The coincident index surged 1.09 percent from a month earlier to 104.05 in October. The sub-indexes of machinery and mechanical imports, electric power consumption, substantive customs-cleared exports, sales of retail, wholesale and restaurant services, industrial production, and manufacturing sales, showed a growth trend. Non-agricultural employment demonstrated a downward trend.

Wu Ming-hui, director of the department of economic development under the NDC, said the nation's exports are expected to boom through the end of the year, gaining steam from the upcoming holiday season.

Wu said continuously stable raw material prices are also expected to fuel exports of related products.

She is also optimistic about domestic investment growth, given the continuing robust investment by the semiconductor sector and expanded government investment in promoting innovative industries. This can be seen from increased imports of machinery and electrical equipment, Wu continued.

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