World manufacturing is in a phase of steady growth due to the improved financial condition of industrialized countries, especially in Europe, and China’s continued growth, the United Nations reported on Wednesday.
Output rose by 5.1% in the first quarter of 2014, the highest rate in several years, according to the UN Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO).
“Higher growth in the production of durable goods, such as household equipment, electronic goods and motor vehicles, indicated rising consumer confidence in long-term stability,” the UN agency reported.
Industrialized countries account for almost two-thirds of world manufacturing value added and growth in these economies has significant impact on global manufacturing.
“The base of current growth in industrialized countries has considerably broadened,” the report’s authors noted, adding that manufacturing output rose in all industrial sectors, including traditional sectors as food manufacturing and textiles.
Manufacturing output rose by 3.3% in industrialized countries and 9.4% in developing and emerging industrial economies in the first quarter of 2014. However, excluding China whose output grew by 13.1%, manufacturing growth in emerging industrial economies was just 1.4%.
The manufacture of machinery and equipment rose by 6.4% in Canada, by 17.7% in Japan, and by 6.0% in the United States.
However, growth prospects for developing and emerging industrial economies remain fragile. Manufacturing output in Argentina fell by 1.8%, in Brazil by 0.2% and in India by 1.6%.
The major risks to a recovery of these economies relate to the reversal of capital flows, as an external factor, and the rise in the cost of production as an internal factor, the authors summarized.