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Manufacturing activity weakens in April: think tank

Manufacturing activity weakens in April: think tank

Taipei, May 29 (CNA) The Taiwan Institute of Economic Research (TIER, ???????) said Friday that the local manufacturing sector was hurt by slower exports and falling industrial production, showing signs of weakening. TIER, one of Taiwan's leading economic think tanks, said the manufacturing composite index for April fell 0.98 points from a month earlier to 10.12, flashing a "blue" light, compared with a "yellow-blue" light in March. The April figure was the lowest since January 2014, when the index stood at 9.69. The think tank uses a five-light system to describe the state of the economy, with red indicating overheating, yellow-red representing fast growth, green showing stable growth, yellow-blue hinting at sluggish growth and blue indicating negative growth. Taiwan's exports in April plunged 11.7 percent from a year earlier to US$23.49 billion at a time when global demand turned weaker. In the same month, Taiwan's industrial production index dropped 4.8 percent year-on-year to 106.37. These figures pointed to weakening manufacturing activity in the country, TIER said. Within the April manufacturing composite index, the sub-index for demand fell 0.37 points, the steepest drop among the five sub-indexes, TIER said. The think tank said the sub-index for the business environment, sales and raw material spending declined 0.32, 0.22 and 0.08, respectively, from a month earlier. However, the April sub-index for production costs rose 0.01 points from March, TIER said. TIER cited a survey as saying that local manufacturers which accounted for 68.04 percent of the country's total manufacturing output said that manufacturing activity flashed a blue light in April, and the ratio rose from March's 44.41 percent. TIER said that many local electronics firms generally weakened as falling global demand hurt computer manufacturers, although international smartphone brands placed more orders to Taiwanese contract producers to offset part of the impact on the PC business. The computer, electronics and optoelectronics sectors flashed a blue light in April, compared with a yellow-blue light seen in March, TIER said. The local semiconductor sector flashed a yellow-blue light in April, unchanged from March as the global integrated circuit industry was in the midst of a slow season, the think tank said. (By Chen Cheng-wei and Frances Huang)


Updated : 2021-09-16 18:58 GMT+08:00