TIER indicator suggests manufacturing remains sluggish


TAIPEI — The Taiwan Institute of Economic Research (TIER) unveiled yesterday its composite manufacturing indicator for December, saying that the sector has remained sluggish amid the global economic slowdown.

The indicator flashed a blue light in December, as the composite index was at 9.14 points, down 0.6 points from 9.74 the previous month, according to the Taipei-based institute.

The institute also adjusted downward the indicators for last July, August, October and November from a yellow-blue light to a blue one, following a change in the intervals of its color-coded indicator system.

It marked the third consecutive month in which the manufacturing sector had flashed a blue light, said Gordon Sun, director of the institute’s Macroeconomic Forecasting Center.

The intervals of the yellow-blue, green, and yellow-red lights were all narrowed, Sun said, adding that the revised scale can now “show more accurate results.”

The institute uses a five-color scale as a gauge of the manufacturing sector’s economic strength.

A red light signifies overheating, a yellow-red light indicates that the sector is heating up, a green light conveys stable growth, a yellow-blue light represents sluggishness, and a blue light points to contraction.

The revision came after the Cabinet-level Council for Economic Planning and Development released two days earlier its economic indicator of a second consecutive blue light in December, indicating a sluggish economy.