Global Manufacturing Trends

I picked some interesting statistics from Reserve Bank Governor Graeme Wheeler’s recent talk to the NZ Manufacturers and Exporters Association.

Importance of manufacturing

* share of global GDP fell from 27% in 1970 to 16% in 2010.
* USA 26% in 1970 – 9% in 2008
* Manufacturing employment 62m in 2000 as compared to 45m in 2010

Reasons for the above:

* Offshoring
* Global transfer of capital, investment, and technologies
* Competition from Developing Economies – export processing zones with lower taxes and cheap labour.

This trend of relative decline has been common despite differences in economic structures, size and geography, commodity endowments, and exchange rate arrangements and behaviour. For example, since 2000 the real effective exchange rate of the United States has depreciated by 14 percent and manufacturing employment fell by 31 percent.

In New Zealand manufacturing’s share of GDP has trended down:
1980’s = 25%
2012 = 12%


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