UNIDO report: world manufacturing shows only moderate growth as some developing countries experience a gradual slowdown
VIENNA, 1 June 2011 – A report released today by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) shows that world manufacturing output increased by 3.9 percent in the first quarter of 2012, compared to the same period in 2011.
Industrialized countries registered some manufacturing growth – estimated at 1.6 percent, amid an improving business environment in North America and East Asia. Strong growth was observed in the United States, Canada, Japan and Singapore, but the manufacturing output of all major economies in the euro-zone, except Germany, declined. In other European countries, manufacturing growth slowed, indicating a spillover effect from declining growth trends in euro-zone countries due to fragile financial conditions. Manufacturing output declined in Bulgaria, Hungary and Sweden.
Developing countries maintained a higher industrial growth rate, at an estimated 8.7 percent, but the rate of growth in a number of major developing countries has declined. In China, the developing world’s largest manufacturer, the quarterly manufacturing growth rate has decreased by 2.5 percent since the beginning of 2011, mainly due to the fall in demand for consumer goods in the external market. Brazil’s manufacturing output has dropped for two consecutive quarters, while India’s grew by a mere 0.1 percent in the first quarter of 2012 compared to the same period in 2011.
In terms of sector-level growth rates, the production of motor vehicles, machinery and equipment has been the major source of manufacturing growth in industrialized countries, especially in the United States and Japan. According to the UNIDO report, the increasing demand for capital goods is an indication of an improving business environment for investment. In Europe, the output of this sector rose in Germany and the United Kingdom, but fell in France and Italy.
Developing countries performed well in primary processing sectors, such as the manufacture of food, textiles, paper products and basic metals. However, the production of wearing apparel and radio, television and communications equipment, which represent a significant share of exports to industrialized countries, only grew at the moderate rate of just less than 5 percent.
UNIDO’s quarterly production estimates provide information about the current status and growth trends of world manufacturing output. Annual data is published in the International Yearbook of Industrial Statistics.
UNIDO maintains an international industrial statistical database in accordance with the mandate of the United Nations Statistics Commission. Data is disseminated through report publications and CD products, and is available online.
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UNIDO Chief Statistician
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