For information only - not an official document

1 June 2012

Re-issued as received

UNIDO report: world manufacturing shows only moderate growth as some developing countries experience a gradual slowdown

VIENNA, 1 June (United Nations Industrial Development Organization) - A report released today by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) shows that world manufacturing output increased by 3.9 per cent in the first quarter of 2012, compared to the same period in 2011.

Industrialized countries registered some manufacturing growth - estimated at 1.6 per cent, 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 per cent, 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 per cent 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 per cent 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.

Read the full report here.

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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For further information on the report, please contact:

Shyam Upadhyaya
UNIDO Chief Statistician
Email: s.upadhyaya[at]

For more information on UNIDO, please contact:

Mikhail Evstafyev
UNIDO Advocacy and Communications Coordinator
Telephone: (+43-1) 26026-5021
Mobile: (+43-699) 1459-7329
Email: m.evstafyev[at]