Output of manufacturing sector up almost 5% in Q2

Taipei, Aug. 23 (CNA) The production value of Taiwan's manufacturing sector for the second quarter rose almost 5 percent from a year earlier on the back of an economic recovery at home and abroad, according to the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA). Citing statistics, the ministry said that the production value of the local manufacturing sector for the April-June period totaled NT$3.67 trillion (US$122 billion), up 4.94 percent from a year earlier, and the growth was the highest in 11 quarters. The MOEA said an improvement in global economic fundamentals, which pushed up demand, benefited the local electronics sector the most, boosting output of the entire manufacturing industry in Taiwan. In the second quarter, output from the local electronics component industry rose 5.57 percent from a year earlier to NT$937.4 billion as international brands' efforts to launch new mobile devices lifted production of semiconductor foundry operators and dynamic random access memory chip makers, according to the MOEA. In particular, output of the semiconductor business for the period rose 16.02 percent from a year earlier, the statistics showed. However, output of the flat panel industry during the same period fell 6.31 percent year-on-year on escalating price competition. The production value of the local base metal industry, meanwhile, rose 8.39 percent to NT$396.4 billion due to price hikes quoted for a wide range of products, such as nickel, steel slab and stainless steel. During the April-June period, output of the local machinery and related equipment business rose 7.73 percent from a year earlier to NT$166.3 billion as the global manufacturing industry was keen to raise investments in production automation to tap the growing demand, the ministry said. The MOEA said the production value of the local auto and auto parts business for the second quarter of this year rose 23.18 percent from a year earlier to NT$114.3 billion since car vendors intensified efforts to launch promotion campaigns to boost buying interest. Adding together first and second quarter results, output from Taiwan's manufacturing sector totaled NT$7.05 trillion in the first half of this year, up 2.64 percent from a year earlier. The first-half figure was the third highest level in the local manufacturing business. (By Huang Chiao-wen and Frances Huang)