Global manufacturing production registered a yearly output growth of 4.2 per cent in the first quarter (Q1) of the yearly, the latest World Manufacturing Report, published by the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) has said.
This ‘World Manufacturing Production, Quarter I 2022 Report’ presented observed growth rates and estimates of world manufacturing production for the first quarter of 2022, as well as revised estimates for the fourth quarter of last year.
The report, which relied on UNIDO’s new country classification for the year, provided insights on the latest trends in global manufacturing based on seasonally-adjusted data up to the first quarter of last year.
The report, which was posted on UNIDO’s website, said in a year-over-year comparison, global manufacturing production increased by 4.2 per cent in Q1 of 2022. The UNIDO report said while the lingering effects of the COVID-19 pandemic continued into the first months of the year, they are gradually weakening, although with seasonal, regional and sectoral differences.
It noted, for instance, that the distribution of raw materials and products in global supply chains, e.g. in motor vehicle production, continued to pose a major logistical threat.
Moreover, the list of products from the Russian Federation facing import bans expanded due to the ongoing military offensive in Ukraine.
“Given the global dependence on fuel, essential foodstuffs and other goods imported from the Russian Federation and Ukraine, this crisis has become a major source of global uncertainty,” UNIDO said.
The pandemic caused the first drastic global decline in manufacturing since the financial crisis of 2008/2009.
But UNIDO, in its report, said as more data became available, “it became apparent that the intensity and duration of the crisis were not as damaging to the manufacturing sector as initially feared”.
The report, however, said on a regional level, Northern America and Asia and Oceania showed the best manufacturing output performance.
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For instance, Northern America’s manufacturing sector reported an output growth of more than five per cent, which is primarily linked to the manufacturing activity in the United States, the largest economy in this group.
Also, manufacturing output growth in Asia and Oceania reached 4.8 per cent in the first quarter of the year, which was primarily attributable to China’s dynamism.
India, Indonesia, Turkey and the Republic of Korea also contributed to the region’s positive performance.
However, Japan, one of the region’s large manufacturers, registered a small decrease in output of 0.6 per cent, continuing its sluggish growth trend observed in recent years.
Manufacturing output in Europe and Latin America, according to the report, grew by around two per cent.
“The growth patterns in European economies differed, but were positive in most cases. Nevertheless, it’s expected that the military offensive in Ukraine will lead to major economic disruptions due to rising energy prices and shortages of products, such as steel or food, especially affecting neighboring countries,” the report said.
It also said in Latin America region, Mexico’s and Argentina’s production growth remained solid, while Brazil continued to face shrinking production.
UNIDO also said limited data on Africa indicated a year-over-year growth of 4.2 per cent, with Nigeria and South Africa, two of the largest manufacturers on the continent, showing stable growth rates of 4.9 per cent and 0.8 per cent, respectively.
The UNIDO report also revealed varying trends across different industrial sectors. In the first quarter of 2022, for instance, the performance of medium-high-and high-technology industries (5.3 per cent) as well as of low-technology industries (4.2 per cent) was better than that of industries that rely mostly on medium-low technologies (2.2 per cent), such as mineral products or basic metals.
Since the fourth quarter of 2020, medium-high- and high-technology industries recorded high growth rates, primarily attributable to the strong performance of computers, electronics and pharmaceuticals.
However, the production of motor vehicles, a higher technology sector, has struggled in recent quarters due to persistent supply chain disruptions.