World industrial production registered a further slowdown in the fourth quarter of 2012, amid deepening economic recession in Europe and weaker growth in other industrialized countries, according to a report published last week by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO).
World manufacturing output grew by merely 1.2 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2012 – the lowest quarterly growth rate in the last three years. In industrialized countries, manufacturing output fell by 1.8 per cent compared to the fourth quarter of 2011.
In Europe, industrial production systematically decreased in all four quarters of 2012. The decline in industrial production previously observed in a few countries of the European Union, spread across the continent.
Manufacturing output in the fourth quarter fell by 3.9 per cent in France, 2.9 per cent in Germany, 6.9 per cent in Italy and 1.8 per cent in the United Kingdom. The severity of the crisis has slightly eased in Greece and Portugal where there was a much lower declining rate. However, manufacturing output of Spain dropped significantly, by 6.0 per cent in the fourth quarter.
Manufacturing output also dropped for two consecutive quarters in East Asia, mainly due to a decrease in Japan's exports. However, North America maintained its positive growth but at a lower rate than in the previous quarter.
At the same time, developing countries averted a further slowdown in the rate of manufacturing growth which was observed during the first half of 2012, mainly as a result of the improvement in China's growth figures at the end of 2012. According to the latest UNIDO estimates, the manufacturing output of developing economies grew by 7.6 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2012 compared to the same period of the previous year.
Despite these improvements, according to the UNIDO report the risk of another slowdown looms over developing economies as long as the economic recession persists in industrialized countries.
UNIDO's quarterly report presents the latest estimates of world industrial growth by country groups and by manufacturing sector.
The Brussels based United Nations Regional Information Centre for Western Europe - UNRIC provides information on UN activities to the countries of the region. It also provides liaison with institutions of the European Union in the field of information. Its outreach activities extend to all segments of society and joint campaigns, projects and events are organized with partners including the EU, governments, the media, NGOs, schools and local authorities.
United Nations Regional Information Centre for Western Europe (UNRIC Brussels)
Residence Palace, Rue de la Loi/Wetstraat 155, Block C2,7th and 8th floor, Brussels 1040, Belgium
Tel.: +32 2 788 8484 / Fax: 32 2 788 8485