《TAIPEI TIMES》 Manufacturing PMI rises on demand
POSITIVE SENTIMENT: PMI readings for suppliers of electronic and optical devices climbed to more than 70, while the business gauge outlook rose to 66.2
By Crystal Hsu / Staff reporter
The official manufacturing purchasing managers’ index （PMI） gained momentum last month, thanks to robust demand for all product categories ahead of the peak season, although customers refrained from unbridled inventory building, cautiously monitoring supply-and-demand dynamics, the Chung-Hua Institution for Economic Research （CIER, 中華經濟研究院） said yesterday.
The PMI gained 1.2 points from June to 65.2, ending two months of slowdown caused by COVID-19 outbreaks in Taiwan and elsewhere in Asia, the Taipei-based think tank said.
“The latest PMI data show that the growth trend remains unchanged for the manufacturing industry in the long run, although short-term orders and price volatility have become a new normal,” CIER president Chang Chuang-chang （張傳章） told an online news conference in Taipei.
PMI values aim to capture the health of the manufacturing industry, with scores above 50 indicating expansion and those below suggesting contraction.
The gauge has remained above 60 for eight straight months, and firms generally expect the landscape to remain bright in the coming six months, Chang said, adding that the sub-index on the six-month business outlook increased by 1.9 points to 66.2.
The rosy outlook came despite worsening infections abroad linked to the Delta variant of SARS-CoV-2 and lingering shipping chaos worldwide, he said.
The measures on new business and industrial production both gained 3.1 points from a month earlier to 67.8 and 66.9 respectively, the CIER report showed.
Suppliers of electronics and optical devices fared the best, with readings of more than 70 for new orders, output and delivery times, it said.
However, customers refrained from enthusiastic inventory building regardless of previous costs, exercising more discretion to prevent potential inventory corrections down the road, Chang said.
Raw material prices rose further from 84 to 85.1, as chemical, base metal and biotechnology product prices swung wildly in the past three months, he said.
The gauge on delivery times shed 3.1 points to 68.5, remaining high due to container shortages and congestion at ports, CIER researcher Chen Shin-hui （陳馨蕙） said.
The non-manufacturing index rebounded to 53.2, emerging from two months of decline after the government eased social distancing requirements, and allowed the conditional reopening of entertainment and recreational facilities last week, Chang said.
The property sector, education facilities, and information and telecom operators were the most optimistic, while logistics and shipping companies continued to fare well amid the COVID-19 outbreak, the report showed.
Service-oriented sectors are expecting business to improve in next six months, lifting the six-month outlook by 12.3 points to 54.1, the report said.
A stable decline in the number of local COVID-19 infections accounted for the rapid recovery in confidence, Chang said, adding that the government is considering implement stimulus measures to invigorate consumer activity next month at the earliest.