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Manufacturing recovery is here, it’s just not very evenly distributed

Manufacturing News

A report by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) has tracked a recovery in global manufacturing output, but with pronounced differences across countries and industries.

UNIDO’s World Manufacturing Report found overall year-on-year growth for manufacturing at 12 per cent for the first quarter of 2021. 

Different countries experienced different rates of recovery, which UNIDO explained in terms such as the impact of the pandemic and countries’ approaches to handling it.

China’s year-on-year result for the first quarter for manufacturing was an increase of 38.2 per cent, in part due to the low base of comparison. Other emerging and developing economies had “already reached their pre-pandemic output levels in the previous quarter, and continue with a moderate output growth of 3.2 per cent” for the current quarter.

Industrialised economies, faced with another wave of coronavirus infections in the northern autumn, were forced to re-introduce stricter containment measures.

“Therefore, the recovery in these countries is still ongoing, with a first moderate increase of 1.5 per cent in the first quarter of 2021,” said UNIDO in a statement.

Predicted manufacturing output for the year was 7.7 per cent globally, 7.2 per cent for industrialised nations, 9 per cent for China (versus -0.7 per cent in 2020) and 5.9 per cent for other emerging and developing nations (versus -6.2 per cent last year.) 

The recovery was also uneven at the sector-level. Higher-tech sectors recovered quickest, up 10 per cent in the first quarter of the year, versus 5.8 per cent for lower-tech.

The report can be read here.

Pictures: UNIDO Statistics based on data from official national sources

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