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Manufacturing, service firms' sentiment weakens: think tank

Manufacturing, service firms' sentiment weakens: think tank

Taipei, Sept. 25 (CNA) Taiwanese manufacturers and service business operators appeared less optimistic in August about their market prospects than a month earlier, amid lingering concerns over the economy at home and abroad, the Taiwan Institute of Economic Research (TIER, ???????) said Friday. The institute's manufacturing composite index for August, based on a survey of Taiwan's manufacturers, fell 1.39 points from a month earlier to 90.38. The August figure was the lowest since October 2012, when the index stood at 89.36. The TIER's service composite index for August dropped 4.64 points from a month earlier to 83.73. The August figure was a new low since February 2009, when the index stood at 78.68. Despite a decline in the manufacturing composite index, the sub-index for the construction sector rose 1.25 points month-on-month to 80.60 in August, the TIER said. The think tank cited the survey as saying that 42.9 percent of respondents in the manufacturing sector thought their business weakened in August, up from 40.6 percent recorded in July, while 15.2 percent of those polled said that their business improved in August, down from 19.3 percent registered a month earlier. The TIER said that the textile and steel/iron segment appeared more downbeat about their business in August. Looking ahead, 20.4 percent of the respondents in the local manufacturing sector forecast that their business will improve over the next six months, up 2.6 percentage points from July, while 25.5 percent of them said that their business will deteriorate over the next six months, down 7.9 percentage points from a month earlier, the think tank said. In the service sector, securities firms and warehouse operators appeared more pessimistic about their business in August, the TIER said. The think tank said the retail sector appeared more downbeat about their business over the next six months. Gordon Sun (???), director of the TIER's Macroeconomic Forecasting Center (?????????), said it is possible that Taiwan's economy will contract in the third quarter in reflection of weakening global demand. Sun was less optimistic about the economic growth for the third quarter than an earlier forecast made by the government. In mid-August, the Directorate General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics forecast that the local economy for the July-September period will grow 0.1 percent from a year earlier. Sun said that the local economy could bottom out in the fourth quarter after raw material prices stage a rebound in that quarter. (By Chen Cheng-wei and Frances Huang)


Updated : 2021-04-21 01:57 GMT+08:00