Growth in world manufacturing has continued to slow throughout 2019 amid rising tensions over trade; India hit by negative growth – UNIDO report

Growth in world manufacturing has continued to slow throughout 2019 amid rising tensions over trade; India hit by negative growth – UNIDO report

VIENNA, 9 December 2019 - Growth in world manufacturing has continued to slow down amid rising tensions over international trade among the major economies. The rate of global manufacturing output growth dropped to 1.2 percent in the third quarter of 2019, mainly due to a production decline in major industrialized economies including Germany, Japan and the United States.

For industrialized countries, manufacturing output fell by 0.7 per cent compared to the same quarter in the previous year, with the production of general machinery, electrical goods and automobiles the sectors mainly affected. Production of motor vehicles dropped by 7.7 per cent in Germany, 7.5 per cent in Italy and 4.1 per cent in France. Among Asian industrialized economies, manufacturing output dropped in Japan, the Republic of Korea and Singapore.

In Europe, manufacturing growth was much lower in Eurozone economies compared to other European Union (EU) countries (the Eurozone is a monetary union of 19 of the 28 EU member states). Among non-EU economies manufacturing output rose by 3.7 per cent in Belarus, 2.9 per cent in Norway and 2.4 per cent in the Russian Federation.

China maintained relatively higher growth at 5.1 percent but it was the lowest growth for several years. China’s manufacturing growth rate has been consistently falling since 2017. However, China still contributes most of the growth of global manufacturing output.     

The impact of slowdown is quickly spreading to developing economies. The manufacturing output of India, one of the largest manufacturers of developing world, plunged to the negative growth for the first time this century due to a decline in exports and weaker domestic demand. Manufacturing output also dropped in Thailand and Malaysia. Overall growth of Asia and Pacific region, excluding China, has been estimated at less than 1.0 percent for the third quarter of 2019, compared to 3.0 percent in the same quarter in the previous year.

After short-lived recovery, manufacturing output again plunged to negative growth in Latin America, mainly due to production decline in Argentina and Brazil. The growth rate of Mexico and Colombia was less than one per cent. 

Manufacturing growth was also sluggish in Africa. The overall growth rate for the continent was 0.6 percent, the lowest since the fourth quarter of 2017. The manufacturing output of the Republic of South Africa declined by 1.8 percent.

The global slowdown of manufacturing output poses a serious challenge to achieving Sustainable Development Goal 9 on industrialization, especially for least developed countries (LDCs). This goal aims to double the share on industry in GDP of LDCs by 2030.

The full report is available here

UNIDO regularly releases the statistics on current growth trends of global manufacturing at country and regional level.

UNIDO maintains an international industrial statistical database in accordance with the mandate of the United Nations Statistics Commission. Data can be downloaded through online access or obtained through CD products and publications.

For more information, please contact:

Shyam Upadhyaya
UNIDO Chief Statistician