Industrial production increased 1.04 percent year-on-year last month, ending four consecutive months of contraction, the Ministry of Economic Affairs said yesterday.
The ministry attributed the increase to the 0.94 percent growth in the manufacturing sector and 2.68 percent rise in electricity and gas supply due to higher demand.
On a cumulative basis, industrial production declined 3.05 percent in the first four months of the year, with the manufacturing sector contracting 3.24 percent, the ministry said.
With trade tensions between the US and China escalating, the ministry expects a slower, but positive growth in industrial production for this month, aided by companies moving production lines to Taiwan and the deployment of new technologies.
“The electronic components industry would be one of the most affected industries,” Department of Statistics Director-General Lin Lee-jen (林麗貞) told a news conference in Taipei.
Electronics components output decreased 3.27 percent last month, as clients’ inventory adjustments led to a decline in foundry production, while increased production of LCD panels and related components in China squeezed production in Taiwan, the ministry said.
However, the computer, electronic goods and optical components industry’s production increased 35.63 percent last month, continuing to grow for a seventh straight month, the ministry said.
It also represented the largest increase since September 2011, thanks to capacity expansions for servers, routers and network switches, as companies return home to avoid higher US tariffs on Chinese goods.
The automaker and components industry recovered from eight consecutive months of decline and reported year-on-year growth of 6.69 percent, benefiting from a steady demand for trucks, the release of new vehicle models and strong demand for auto parts in North America, the ministry said.
The chemicals material industry decreased 3.21 percent owing to the global economic slowdown and routine maintenance of petrochemical plants, while the base metal industry saw output decline 5.93 percent on the back of higher US tariffs on steel products and plant maintenance, it said.