Taiwan official PMI in February declines to 50.3%; HSBC posts 54.7
Taiwan News, Staff Writer
2014-03-03 02:22 PM
Local think tank Chung-Hua Institution for Economic Research (CIER) has issued the official manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI), which saw a decline to 50.3 in February from 54.1 seen in January, along with the National Development Council. The decline is attributed mostly to lower production during the six-day-long Lunar New Year holidays, said in a statement Monday.

Meanwhile, the new orders sub-index fell to 48.8 in February from 55.3 in January and from 15 consecutive months of expansion. The production sub-index fell to 43.6 from 56.7, in which the electronic and optical index among the six main categories fell to the lowest since the records were kept in July of 2012. The employment sub-index climbed to 52.0 from 51.7.

On the same day, the HSBC also issued the island's PMI figures for February. The HSBC Taiwan PMI posted at 54.7 in February, below January's 33-month high of 55.5. The decline in PMI partly reflected slower expansions of output and new orders, but it still signaled a strong improvement of business condition, broadly in line with the next six-month business outlook surveyed by the CIER.

"Although the headline PMI moderated in February, most components are still signaling expansion at above-average rates. The acceleration in export orders is particularly encouraging for the export-driven Taiwanese economy," said John Zhu, the economist at HSBC in Asia.

Taiwan is a large manufacturer and exporter of electronic products including semiconductors, flat panels and personal computers. Manufacturing contributes around 30 percent of the island's annual gross domestic product. A PMI reading above 50.0 indicates expansion while below indicates contraction.

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