Global manufacturing sustains growth on stable commodity prices

Favourable environment in financial markets and the stabilisation of commodity prices have had a positive impact on global demand for manufactured goods, latest data from the United Nations Industrial Development Organizations (UNIDO) have shown.

Indeed, the data showed that global manufacturing is showing clear signs of recovery following the recession observed in recent years, as World manufacturing value added (MVA) rose by 3.5 percent in 2017, the highest rate in last seven years, according to The International Yearbook of Industrial Statistics 2018 released by UNIDO.

Similarly, UNIDO’s data showed that low energy prices and an increasing level of investment brought a significant change to European manufacturing, with a 2.7 percent growth of MVA in 2017.A rise in the pace of manufacturing growth was also observed in East Asian industrialized economies where the MVA rose by 2.6 percent in 2017.

“Developing and emerging industrial economies also improved their growth performance with an increase in MVA by 3.7 percent in 2017. Much higher growth was achieved by China at 6.5 percent. Thanks to consistently high growth over the years, China is now established as the world’s largest manufacturer, accounting for more than one quarter of global manufacturing production.

“Asian manufacturing growth has been characterized by a significant shift to high-technology industries, which accounted for more than a third of the total manufacturing production of India, Indonesia and Viet Nam. China, Japan, the Republic of Korea and Malaysia are among the world’s leading producers of computer, electronic and optical products”, the report showed.

Positive signs were also observed in Latin American countries where a declining trend in manufacturing output observed since 2013 was reversed in 2017.MVA growth in African countries remained weak, especially in African least developed countries (LDCs). The share of manufacturing continued to decline in African LDCs posing a serious challenge for the continent’s achievement of the Sustainable Development Goal on industrialization.

The International Yearbook of Industrial Statistics 2018 also highlights the increasing level of women’s participation in manufacturing. A number of developing and emerging industrial economies have significantly reduced the gender gap in manufacturing employment.

The share of female employees was reported to be 60.6 percent in Viet Nam, 57.1 percent in Sri Lanka and 49.7 percent in Bulgaria. However, women’s participation is still low in many other developing economies.

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

UNIDO’s Yearbook 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. An analysis of global manufacturing’s current growth trends of is provided by quarterly reports.