Sentiment rises among Taiwan manufacturers, weakens in service sector

Taipei-Business sentiment among export-oriented manufacturers in Taiwan improved in April from the previous month, as the global economy continued to recover, the Taiwan Institute of Economic Research (TIER) said Tuesday.

In the service sector, however, business sentiment weakened, amid growing worry over shrinking domestic demand caused by an escalation of indigenous COVID-19 infections, TIER said.

The composite index for the service sector fell 1.06 points in April, from the previous month, to 100.41, it said.

The local semiconductor industry continued to be boosted by solid global demand for emerging technologies such as 5G applications, high performance computing devices and automotive electronics, TIER said.

Shipments of tech devices such as notebook computers also increased, driven by a booming stay-at-home economy amid the COVID-19 pandemic, TIER said.

In addition, the old economy industries saw growing demand, with the prices of raw materials, including steel and base metals, increasing as many countries reopened their economies after implementing large scale COVID-19 vaccination programs, TIER said.

Meanwhile, turnover on the local equity market expanded significantly due to growing share prices, a positive sign for securities houses in the service sector, the think tank said.

Concerns over the domestic spread of COVID-19, however, affected the six-month outlook for sales in the retail and restaurant businesses, which resulted in a drop in the composite index for the service sector in April, after four months of increase, TIER said.

In the property industry, TIER said, the composite index fell 0.59 in April, from a month earlier, to 106.01, marking the second consecutive month of a decline, after the government introduced measures to rein in speculation in the housing market.

Sentiment among property developers was also dampened, due to growing business risks amid uncertainty over the surge in domestic COVID-19 cases, the think tank said.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel