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16 Feb, 2013

New UN Report Says European Recession Keeping Manufacturing Rates Low


VIENNA, 15 February 2013 (UN News Centre) – The growth rate of world manufacturing output remained low in 2012 due to the prolonged recession in industrialized countries and its negative impact on developing and emerging industrial economies, according to a UN report released today.

World manufacturing output grew by 2.2 per cent in 2012, significantly lower than the 3.1 per cent projected midway through last year. This and other key findings are revealed by the latest annual figures on the level, structure and growth of world industrial production contained in the 2013 edition of the International Yearbook of Industrial Statistics, published by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO).

The Yearbook provides internationally comparable data for major indicators of manufacturing activity which can be used to analyze patterns of growth and related long term trends, structural change and industrial performance in individual industries. It is the only international publication that offers economists, planners, policymakers and business people worldwide statistics on current performance and trends in the manufacturing sector.

The new publication shows that the world’s industrialized countries experienced particularly low manufacturing value added (MVA) growth, with some dynamism in North America and East Asia was largely negated by the sustained recession in Europe. MVA of industrialized countries grew at an average rate of just 0.3 per cent in 2012.

According to the Yearbook, the global economic crisis beginning in 2009 has not only forced huge job cuts in the manufacturing sector of industrialized countries but has also pulled labour productivity down. Net manufacturing output in the world’s eight major industrialized economies (G-8) has fallen by a much higher rate than the number of employees, reflecting the fact that many businesses retain a skeleton workforce even during periods when there are no or few orders for their products.

Developing and emerging industrial economies in general maintained a strong rate of MVA growth in 2012, despite some deceleration in industrial production due to a decrease in demand for exports. Developing and emerging industrial economies’ combined share of world MVA in 2012 stood at 35 per cent.

In longer run, the industrialized countries’ share of world MVA will remain high, as economic progress will mean that more countries will be elevated into the group of industrialized economies. The 2013 edition of the Yearbook includes revised country groups, with Malaysia, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar among new entrants to the group of industrialized economies.

The Yearbook also highlights MVA growth trends in the least developed countries (LDCs), which are facing different constraints related to external trade. In comparison with African LDCs, Asian LDCs have the advantage of closer proximity to fast-growing economies, and this is reflected by an average MVA growth rate over the last decade of 8.7 per cent per annum for Asian LDCs compared to 5.9 per cent for African LDCs.

The International Yearbook of Industrial Statistics presents detailed, country-specific, business structure statistics, which provide empirical evidence for formulating industrial policy and carrying out comparative analysis of structural change and productivity.

UNIDO maintains an international industrial statistics database covering mining and quarrying, manufacturing and the international trade of manufactured goods.

The International Yearbook of Industrial Statistics 2013 is a joint publication of UNIDO and Edward Elgar Publishing Limited (ISBN 978-1-78195-564-2). It can be ordered here: http://www.elgaronline.com