Taiwan’s manufacturing activity expands for 25th straight month

Taipei, Taiwan's manufacturing activity remained in expansion mode for the 25th consecutive month in April, as firms took more orders, increased production and the job market improved, Chung-Hua Institution for Economic Research (CIER) said Wednesday.

According to CIER, one of the leading think tanks in Taiwan, the Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) for April rose 0.5 points from a month earlier to 58.0, marking the 25th straight month of expansion.

As for the service sector, which also benefited from economic recovery at home and abroad, the non-manufacturing index (NMI) for April rose 1.2 from a month earlier to 55.6. It was the 14th consecutive month the NMI has been in expansion mode.

In both the PMI and NMI, readings above 50 indicate expansion, while those below 50 represent contraction.

CIER President Wu Chung-shu (???) said at a press conference that the increase in both the PMI and NMI, indicates the local economy remains on course for continued growth.

Last week, the Directorate General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics (DGBAS) reported that Taiwan's economy grew 3.04 percent in the first quarter of this year, beating an earlier estimate of 2.77 percent, due to better than expected exports and strong private consumption.

Taking into account stronger growth in the first quarter, the DGBAS said the local economy could grow 2.48 percent in 2018, which is better than the agency's official forecast of 2.42 made in February.

Of the the five major elements that make up the CIER PMI, the sub-indexes for new orders, production and employment moved higher by 0.9, 4.1 and 1.2, respectively, from a month earlier to 56.0, 58.0 and 55.9 in April.

Although, the sub-indexes for supplier deliveries and inventories, moved lower by 0.5 and 3.1, respectively, from a month earlier to 62.2 and 58.1, both still remained in expansion mode. CIER said the sub-indexes for the six major industries -- chemicals/biotech, electronics/optoelectronics, transportation, electricity/machinery, food/textiles and infrastructure/raw material industries -- fell, but also remained in expansion.

Among the four major factors in the NMI, CIER said, the sub-indexes for business activity/production, new orders and employment moved higher by 4.4, 0.7 and 0.3, respectively, from a month earlier to 58.6, 56.3 and 54.1 in April.

The sub-index for supplier deliveries fell 0.6 from a month earlier to 53.3 but remained in expansion mode, CIER said.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel