Taiwan Industrial Output Rose 6.49% in March

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The FINANCIAL — Taiwan’s industrial production regained some momentum in March, as demand for electronic components rose amid product launches by global technology brands, according to Nasdaq.

The index–which measures output from domestic factories, utilities and mines–rose 6.49% year-over-year last month to 111.56, the Ministry of Economic Affairs said on April 23. This was higher than a median forecast of a 5.11% increase from nine economists polled by The Wall Street Journal. The index rose 2.72% in February.

 Semiconductor output rose 24.9% in March from a year earlier, after a 24% increase in February, the ministry said. Much of the growth came from Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (2317.TW), the maker of iPhone chips. The company said earlier, however, that demand growth had been tapering, citing escalating competition, slowing growth from emerging markets and a strengthening Taiwan dollar.

Output of personal computer and smartphone components also rose 2.63% last month, following a 15.5% increase in February. Recent growth came from robust orders for camera lenses by smartphone makers and renewed demand for components of notebook computers.

Production for the chemical sector, which has been damped by falling oil prices, rose 13.60% last month as demand improved with some Asian petrochemical factories entering routine maintenance. In February, output edged up 0.6%.

Taiwan’s main exporters, many of which manufacture electronic components, have been riding high on Apple Inc.’s (AAPL) release of new smartphones and the global rollout of faster fourth-generation mobile networks. Continued recovery in key export markets, particularly the U.S., also helped production.


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