Taiwan manufacturing industry growth projected to slow in 2019: TIER

Exports are unlikely to sustain the momentum from the past two years

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Photo courtesy of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company

Photo courtesy of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – The Taiwan Institute of Economic Research (TIER) revised its growth forecast for Taiwan in 2019 downward to 2.12 percent, in a report released Thursday on the prospects for the island’s manufacturing sector this year.

Taiwan can hardly maintain its export momentum in the coming year as a result of a saturated smartphone market and a plunge in crude oil prices, the think tank predicts, giving the manufacturing industry a yellow-blue light outlook, which denotes a less optimistic judgment than the stable green light, reports the Liberty Times.

The textile industry in Taiwan will be affected by sluggish economic growth in major consumer markets as well as fierce competition from Chinese businesses. The chemical plastics industry will see a profit drop owing to increased ethylene production in the U.S. that pushes down product prices as well as weakened demand amid U.S.-China trade conflicts. Nevertheless, domestic demand could fill the gap boosted by expanded public infrastructure spending.

Metal and machinery industry players will take a hit by diminished orders from China and Southeast Asia, according to TIER. However, the sector is still placed on a growth trajectory – though slowing -- thanks to increased domestic demand and advances in technology.

The dip in mobile devices and laptop sales could spell a lackluster performance for the electronics industry. Taiwan’s semiconductor industry is also exposed to the sales woes of smart phones, but businesses can expect a boost from the rising demand for products used for artificial intelligence, Internet of Things, automotive electronics, and high-performance computing, TIER suggests.