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Taiwan's manufacturing sector hits five year high in March

Updated: 04 06 , 2017 14:25
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TAIPEI, April 5 -- Taiwan's purchasing managers' index (PMI) for the manufacturing sector in March marked the highest reading since July 2012, according to Chung-Hua Institution for Economic Research (CIER), a Taipei-based think tank Wednesday.

The PMI rose by 9.4 points to 65.2 in March from the previous month, and is the 13th consecutive month that the manufacturing sector has expanded. A reading above 50 indicates expansion while figures under 50 reflect contraction.

Most of the major sub-indexes expanded in March, with production and new orders registering the highest growth, up 22.9 and 14.1 points to 72.8 and 72.3 respectively.

The growth was largely on the back of an increase in new orders and production, as well as the holiday effects in February, according to Wu Chung-Shu, president of the institution.

In addition, good economic performance in the mainland and other major markets since the beginning of this year also helped push up manufacturing activities in the island, Wu said at the press conference.

He also stressed that the PMI index was just a relative value and could not be used to represent economic activity. "You cannot say the economy is better because of a higher PMI index," he said.

Steve Lai, executive director of the supply management institute in Taiwan, noted that it remained to be seen whether the strong PMI performance could persist in the next few months given that the global economy still faced uncertainty and Taiwan's economy remained sluggish.

Meanwhile, the non-manufacturing index, an indicator for the service sector, rose 6.6 points to 55.1 in March.

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