Taipei--After a more than 10 percent year-on-year increase in Taiwan's industrial production in February, growth momentum is expected to continue for the rest of the quarter, according to the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA).
Wang Shu-chuan (???), deputy director of the MOEA's statistics department, said that led by solid demand for handheld devices, the rising popularity of Internet of Things gadgets and automotive electronics, industrial production is expected to post a year-on-year increase in the first quarter.
Wang said local industrial production in March is expected to rise about 1 percent from a year earlier.
Such an optimistic assessment came after the industrial production index for February grew 10.64 percent from a year earlier to 95.99, the seventh month in a row the index has risen year-on-year, after a rise of 2.46 percent in January.
In addition to the recovery in global demand, the MOEA said growth in February also reflected a relatively low comparison base over the same period of last year, as a result of the reduced number of work days caused by the Lunar New Year holiday in 2015.
In the first two months of this year, Taiwan's industrial production grew 6.22 percent from a year earlier, MOEA data showed.
The ministry said the strong showing in February for industrial production came after the manufacturing sector sub-index grew 13.97 percent from a year earlier with the electronics component industry enjoying a 19.07 percent year-on-year increase.
It was the seventh consecutive month in which the electronics component industry has posted double-digit growth in production, the data indicated.
Production in the semiconductor sector for February rose 33.93 percent on the back of an increase in orders for high-end chips which prompted wafer foundry operators and other integrated circuit suppliers to expand output, the MOEA said.
In addition, production of flat panels and display parts grew 16.92 percent from the previous year as demand for large-sized screens, in particular for TV use, remained strong with the industry also benefiting from the low comparison base over the same period of last year, the MOEA added.
In the first two months of the year, production at electronics component firms rose 15.11 percent, according to the ministry.
Production by the computer/optoelectronics, machinery, base metal and auto/auto part industries in February grew 8.91 percent, 15.53 percent, 11.51 percent and 19.74 percent, respectively, from a year earlier. In contrast, growth in the chemical material industry rose only 0.31 percent year-on-year.
Despite the upbeat mood for the first quarter, Wang said that a move by China to cultivate its own supply chain, future U.S. trade policy under President Donald Trump, fluctuations in crude oil prices and foreign currency fluctuations could affect global demand and eventually impact Taiwan's industrial production.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel