Industrial production up over 3% year-on-year in April
- Online Date: 2020/05/25
- Modify Date: 2020/06/08
Taipei, May 25 (CNA) Industrial production rose more than 3 percent from a year earlier in April as solid demand for tech devices, in particular semiconductors, offset the impact of COVID-19 contagion, the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) said Monday.
Data compiled by the MOEA showed the industrial production index for April rose 3.51 percent from a year earlier to 107.30 with the sub-index for the manufacturing sector, which accounts for more than 90 percent of total industrial production, increasing 4.15 percent to 108.37.
On a month-on-month basis, industrial production in April fell 7.40 percent with the sub-index for the manufacturing sector down 7.62 percent.
After seasonal adjustments, industrial production in April was also down 0.12 percent from a month earlier and the sub-index for the manufacturing sector down 0.99 percent.
In the first four months of this year, industrial production rose 7.68 percent from a year earlier and production by manufacturers grew 8.23 percent, the MOEA said.
Wang Shu-chuan (王淑娟), deputy head of the MOEA's statistics department, told reporters that the electronics industry continues to benefit from emerging technologies such as 5G applications, artificial intelligence, cloud-based services and high performance computing devices.
While the old economy sector feels the pinch from COVID-19, the tech sector is getting a boost from increased remote work and online learning, Wang said.
As a result, production posted by the local electronic components industry rose 22.15 percent from a year earlier in April, marking the fifth consecutive month of double-digit increases, with the semiconductor business seeing production soaring 32.27 percent, the MOEA said.
Production in the computer and optoelectronics industry rose 1.75 percent from a year earlier in April, but weakening demand for camera lenses due to a decline in smartphone sales capped growth, the MOEA added.
On the other hand, the weakening global energy market amid the COVID-19 pandemic continues to push down production in the petrochemical industry, while lockdown measures by many countries to contain the disease have also hurt demand for base metal and machinery, the ministry said.
The data showed production in the oil and coal sectors plunged 16.74 percent from a year earlier, while production in the base metal and machinery industries fell 6.08 percent and 14.10 percent, respectively, from a year earlier.
In April, the spread of the virus also undermined demand for automobiles and auto parts, causing a plunge of 21.10 percent in production from a year earlier.
Wang said demand for tech gadgets is expected to continue in May, supporting overall industrial production, but uncertainty has led to forecasts that range from a 2 percent rise to a 1 percent decline from a year earlier.
(By Wu Po-wei and Frances Huang)