Global manufacturing growth ‘sluggish’

Manufacturing - []

Global manufacturing growth remained low in the third quarter of 2016, reflecting a prolonged yet fragile recovery  in industrialised economies and weakened growth prospects in developing and emerging industrial economies, a report by the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO), has said.

The report said that world manufacturing output rose by 2.4 per cent in the third quarter of 2016, compared to the same period of the previous year. It predicted that uncertainty accompanying political developments in the United States (US) and Europe with potential impact on global trade arrangements will likely create further risks to global industrial growth.

The report accessed by The Nation stated that major industrialised economies with significant contribution to global manufacturing output – the US, Japan and Germany- remained affected by low-growth. It said that in China, the world’s largest manufacturer, comparably lower growth has now become systematic, pushing the average industrial growth of emerging industrial economies downward.

According to the report, the manufacturing output of industrialised economies increased marginally by 0.6 per cent in the third quarter of 2016, whereas the growth in developing and emerging industrial economies dropped below 5.0 per cent. China’s manufacturing output growth reduced to 6.9 per cent in the third quarter, compared to 7.2 per cent in the second quarter.

The lower growth rate of developing and emerging industrial economies also reflected a continuing decline of manufacturing in Latin American countries. Manufacturing output dropped in Argentina by 6.4 per cent, in Brazil by 4.8 per cent and in Chile by 0.3 per cent.

Some Asian economies maintained higher manufacturing growth performance in the third quarter of 2016. Vietnam maintained its position as one of the fastest growing Asian economies with the double-digit growth for an eighth consecutive quarter.

The country’s manufacturing output rose by 11.2 per cent in the third quarter.Similarly, Indonesia’s manufacturing growth rose by 5.5 per cent and Malaysia’s by 3.9 per cent. However, the growth pace of manufacturing output in India dropped in the third quarter below 1.0 per cent.

Estimates from the limited available data showed that manufacturing output growth decelerated in Africa, with a marginal rise of 0.5 per cent. While South Africa, the continent’s largest manufacturer, had positive growth, the manufacturing output of Egypt, another large economy in Africa, dropped by 2.1 per cent in the third quarter. Higher growth rates of 8.3 per cent and 7.6 per cent were achieved in Cameroon and Senegal.

The UNIDO report also presented growth estimates by manufacturing sectors. Production of motor vehicles rose by 6.4 per cent worldwide, thanks to higher growth of this sector in developing economies.

Similarly, production of pharmaceutical products rose by 3.4 per cent, and computer, electronic and optical products by 4.6 per cent. The production of tobacco fell for the third consecutive quarter, declining by 8.0 per cent in the third quarter 2016.



The Nation