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Global Production Growth Led by Developing Countries

Overall manufacturing sees first uptick in three years.

GENEVA — A United Nations report on global manufacturing for the first quarter shows production increased 5.1 percent for apparel and 4.5 percent for textiles compared with the same period last year, with the gains coming from developing economies, up 8.9 percent for apparel and 7.4 percent for textiles, while production in industrialized nations contracted 3.5 percent in apparel and 2.9 percent in textiles.

The report revealed that apparel production among developing countries in the January-to-March period saw increases of 10.2 percent in Turkey and 7.4 percent in China, but a 2.6 percent drop in Brazil. In the same period, apparel output fell 1.4 percent in the U.S. and was down 4.7 percent in Italy, 1.8 percent in Germany and 3.8 percent in France.

In textile production among developing countries, the report shows growth of 9.6 percent in China, 6 percent in Turkey, 4 percent in Mexico and 1.8 percent in India, while Brazil and Indonesia each declined 4.5 percent and Egypt fell 2.4 percent.

In the U.S., textile production dropped 2.8 percent and contracted 4.6 percent in Italy, 2.2 percent in Germany and 0.5 percent in France, the U.N. Industrial Development Organization said.

The report by the Vienna-based UNIDO said the latest estimates of overall world manufacturing showed a 1.7 percent increase after a downward trend for nearly three years. However, the agency cautions that the prospect for the recovery “remains fragile” for the majority of industrialized and emerging economies.

U.N. economists said the recovery in rich countries “has been jeopardized by stagnation in Europe due to austerity measures” and also pointed out developing economies faced a decline in demand for exports due to the prolonged economic difficulties in industrialized nations. Overall manufacturing output in the first quarter fell 4.2 percent in France, 1.7 percent in Germany, 4.5 percent in Italy and 2.1 percent in the U.K., but grew 2.6 percent in the U.S.

Overall manufacturing in developing and emerging industrial economies grew 6.8 percent, UNIDO said, with China, the second-largest manufacturer in the world, gaining 9.7 percent in the first quarter.

In many other emerging economies, the growth of overall manufacturing was moderate. Brazil’s rate was 1.6 percent, India’s was 2.5 percent, Indonesia’s was 4.5 percent, Mexico’s was 1.1 percent and Turkey’s was 4.5 percent. Bangladesh reported an increase of 2.6 percent.