Taipei--Indicators relating to the overall economic condition of the manufacturing and non-manufacturing sectors in January both point to expansion as the domestic economy continues to recover, the Chung-Hua Institution for Economic Research (CIER) said on Tuesday.
Although the purchasing managers index (PMI) fell 2.5 points in January from the previous month to 53.4 points, it remained above the 50 point threshold, indicating expansion in the manufacturing sector, said CIER, one of the leading think tanks in Taiwan.
The January PMI figure means that manufacturing activity in Taiwan expanded for the 11th consecutive month, it said.
The decline in the PMI was due to fewer working days in January with the Lunar New Year holiday falling in that month, CIER President Wu Chung-shu (???) said.
The non-manufacturing sector also expanded for the second consecutive month in January, with the non-manufacturing index (NMI) rising 2.8 points from a month earlier to 54.1.
The CIER's monthly survey of economic sentiment in the manufacturing and non-manufacturing sectors for the next six months shows broad optimism and a belief that Taiwan's economy is slowly expanding, said Wu.
In addition, according to the CIER survey, the manufacturing sector is upbeat about the news that Apple could start mass production of its iPhone 8 earlier than expected in June and a stronger than anticipated recovery in the U.S. and European economies.
Meanwhile, NMI data indicated a greater than expected expansion in non-manufacturing activity mainly due to strong sales in earlier January, Wu said, adding that current conditions suggest growth in the sector will continue.
Wu also said he was optimistic Taiwan would achieve 2 percent economic growth this year and indicated that CIER will adjust its GDP growth forecast depending on various factors that could affect the economy.
Wu made the comments after the National Development Council last month set its economic growth target for this year at 2-2.5 percent, driven mainly by faster private investment.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel