Nov. manufacturing drops on continued eurozone debt crisis


TAIPEI–Taiwan’s industrial and manufacturing production both dropped in November under the impact of the sovereign debt crisis in the eurozone, according to the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA).

The industrial production index stood at 125.96 in November, representing an annual decrease of 3.55 percent, MOEA statistics showed.

Manufacturing dropped 4.22 percent, representing the first slump in 27 months, according to official statistics released Friday.

Huang Jih-shih, director-general of the MOEA Department of Statistics, said that under the influence of global financial fluctuations, Taiwan’s industrial production and manufacturing production turned from growth to recession last month, similar to what has happened in neighboring Japan and mainland China, but not in South Korea.

Although Taiwan’s industrial and manufacturing productions would not be as comforting as South Korea’s, there would still be an annual growth of around 5 percent for this year, Huang forecast.

“It’s not bad,” he said.

He also said that although the industrial and manufacturing productions have declined to the low level it was at during the financial storm in 2008, the current decline was happening in a graduate and moderate manner, unlike the sudden plummet they suffered that year.

Huang predicted the drop in industrial production would begin to ease in December and fall to the bottom in the first quarter next year before starting to climb in the second quarter.

Meanwhile, the MOFA statistics also showed that retail sales – an important indicator of private consumption in the domestic market – increased to NT$312.6 billion (US$10.32 billion) in November, with a year-on-year growth of 3.97 percent.

The figures indicated that “domestic demand is still warm. It did not turn cold,” said Huang.

According to the latest statistics on commercial sales, sales of trade and food services fell 0.95 percent in November on an annual basis, marking the first decline since September 2009.

Wholesale sales dropped 3.03 percent last month because of the global slowdown, the tallies show.