Two-year fall in manufacturing output reversed in 2017

Taipei, In the wake of stronger global demand, the production value of the local manufacturing sector in 2017 increased year-on-year, ending a two year fall in output, according to the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA).

Data compiled by the ministry shows that output generated by local manufacturers in 2017 rose 5.85 percent from a year earlier to NT$13.04 trillion (US$445 billion).

The growth stopped a two-year decline after a 10.84 percent drop in 2015 and a 4.26 percent year-on-year decline in 2016, the data showed.

The MOEA said the electronic components industry, which accounted for almost 30 percent of total output in the local manufacturing sector, posted NT$3.67 trillion in production value in 2017, up 3.54 percent from a year earlier.

The ministry added that the electronic components business benefited from solid demand for semiconductors and flat panels which rose 6.75 percent and 14.01 percent, respectively, to NT$1.36 trillion and NT$924 billion in 2017.

The output of the chemical materials and base industries also grew 11.97 percent and 18.43 percent, respectively, to NT$1.76 trillion and NT$1.35 trillion in 2017, the data showed. Those were the highest growth rates in seven years for the two industries, the data indicated.

The machinery business also saw output grow 8.41 percent from a year earlier to NT$652.5 billion in 2017, while the production value of computer/computer peripheral/optoelectronics and auto/auto part industries fell 5.55 percent and 0.99 percent, respectively, to NT$618.9 billion and NT$383.2 billion, the MOEA said.

In the fourth quarter alone, the local manufacturing sector posted about NT$3.4 trillion in production value, up 4.06 percent from a year earlier, marking the fifth consecutive quarter the sector reported a year-on-year increase in output, according to the ministry.

The strong showing in the fourth quarter came after the chemical materials and base metal industries reported an 11.34 percent and 11.65 percent rise, respectively, in output in the three month period, on the back of rising product prices and continued solid demand, the MOEA said.

In the fourth quarter, the production value of the local electronic components industry rose 1.72 percent from a year earlier as new consumer electronic devices boosted buying in the global market, with the output of the IC business up 9.13 percent, the ministry added.

However, the flat panel industry suffered a 5.63 percent year-on-year decline in output due to a fall in product prices caused by rising supply, according to the MOEA.

The ministry said the manufacturing sector is expected to report a fall in output in the first quarter of this year from the previous quarter due to slow season effects, but momentum is likely to pick up in the following quarters as the global economy remains on an upward trend.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel