TAIPEI, April 24 (Xinhua) -- Industrial output index in Taiwan declined for the fourth straight month in March, falling 9.88 percent from the previous year to 103.82 amid uncertainty in the global economy, according to industrial data released Tuesday.
The year-on-year contraction in March marked the biggest decline since January 2012, when it slumped 15.91 percent.
The island's economic affairs authority attributed the decline to fewer working days in March and a relatively high comparison base over the same period of last year.
The sub-index of the manufacturing sector, which accounts for more than 90 percent of total industrial output, plunged 10.52 percent year-on-year to 104.48, also marking the steepest year-on-year decline since January 2012, when it dived 16.81 percent.
For the first quarter, the industrial production index dropped 4.58 percent, snapping a 10-quarter streak of increase, while the sub-index for the manufacturing sector declined 4.80 percent.
Looking ahead, the island's economic affairs authority said the weakness in industrial production is expected to continue until June amid unfavorable external factors, but the decline will narrow. The index is expected to recover in the second half of this year thanks to an estimated warming of export orders.