Orders totaled $35.97 billion in January, a gain of 5.2% from a year earlier, following a 6.3% rise in December, according to Ministry of Economic Affairs data released Monday.
Ahead of the release economists had cited the Lunar New Year holiday as a factor that might weigh on January's data given the shorter number of working days compared with the year earlier period.
All the island's main product groups gained in order value, with an 18% increase for precision instruments enjoying the biggest jump, followed by a 13% increase for machinery orders.
Demand for communications and information items and electronic products--the two largest categories--showed weaker gains than in previous months, increasing 6.7% and 1.4%, respectively. Orders for base metals also rose 9.7%, while demand for chemicals was up by 13%.
Orders from mainland China and Hong Kong grew by 5.5%, while demand from the U.S. was up 4.8%. Orders from Southeast Asia dropped 7.0% and demand from Japan gained 5.3%. ■
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