Taiwan’s manufacturing activity expands for 7th consecutive month

Taiwan's purchasing managers index (PMI) for manufacturing rose in September to its highest level since March 2015, signaling continued expansion in the sector, the Chung-Hua Institution for Economic Research (CIER) said Monday.

The index rose 1.5 points to 56.5, the highest it has been since it reached 59.1 in March last year, and reflected sustained momentum in manufacturing activity by remaining above 50 for the seventh straight month, the CIER said.

Any PMI over 50 indicates expansion while scores under 50 reflect contraction.

The non-manufacturing index (NMI) fell 1.5 points in September to 51, the second consecutive month of decline, according to the latest CIER data.

CIER President Wu Chung-shu (???) said the decline reflected a recent drop in the number of Chinese visiting Taiwan, which has adversely affected the country's accommodation and food service industry.

Despite the September fall, the index remained above 50 for the fourth consecutive month, signaling continued expansion in non-manufacturing economic activity, the think tank said.

Wu said the two indexes showed that Taiwan's manufacturing sector was recovering at a steadier pace than the services sector, possibly due to a gradual improvement in global economic conditions, which have boosted demand for Taiwan's manufactured exports.

The economist also said he expected the country's economy to grow by at least 1 percent this year, even if the recovery remains somewhat sluggish.

The government has estimated full-year economic growth in 2016 at 1.22 percent, but some economic think tanks have projected growth below 1 percent.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel