Manufacturers’ business sentiment improves for 2nd straight month

Taipei-Confidence among Taiwanese manufacturers improved in August for the second consecutive month largely on the back of rising global demand during the peak season for electronic gadgets, the Taiwan Institute of Economic Research (TIER) said Wednesday.

TIER data showed that composite index for the manufacturing sector, which gauges business sentiment among manufacturers, rose 1.16 points in August from a month earlier to 94.98.

At a news conference, TIER President Chang Chien-yi (???) said old economy manufacturers in the machinery, metal, rubber and plastics industries, for example, have been affected by weakening global demand amid the trade frictions between the United States and China.

However, Chang said, the information and communications industry reported higher outbound sales during its peak season.

The industry also benefited from an increase in domestic investments and in orders from foreign buyers, he said.

Chang said it remains to be seen whether business sentiment among manufacturers will continue to improve, given the uncertainty over the global economy and the risks China and Europe are facing.

According to a TIER survey, 26.6 percent of manufacturers in Taiwan thought that the business climate had improved in August from a month earlier, while 29.8 percent thought it had worsened.

The textile, metal, transportation and precision machinery industries were more downbeat, said TIER, one of the leading think tanks in Taiwan.

The August survey also found that 14.6 percent of manufacturers anticipated that the business climate would improve over the next six months, while 24.4 percent expected it to deteriorate.

According to TIER, metal, rubber and precision machinery firms were more cautious about the business climate over the next six months.

Meanwhile, TIER said, the sub-index for the property sector rose 2.26 in August from a month earlier to 100.35, showing a gain for the fourth consecutive month.

The increase, the TIER said, reflected the progress on public work projects and upbeat business sentiment among property developers boosted by the construction of many new homes.

In addition, the property market benefited in August from higher demand driven by increasing investments by returning Taiwanese firms, the think tank said.

However, property sales were affected by the Ghost Month taboo in August, during which local consumers tend not to buy big ticket items such as cars and homes to avoid bad luck, TIER said.

In the service sector, the composite index fell 1.46 points in August to 91.16, as the local securities industry was affected by the trade tensions between Washington and Beijing, volatility in the stock market and slower demand, TIER said.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel