World industrial production grew 0.3% in March (m/m)

Global industrial production posted an increase of 0.3% month-on-month, reported the Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis (CPB).

Overall, the Covid-19 pandemic kept a firm grip on the global economy in the first quarter of 2021.

At the beginning of the year, in January, the planet’s industrial production grew 1.5% compared to the immediately previous month.

Then, in February, industrial production fell 0.6%, at a monthly rate.

In many places, new waves of infections and tighter containment measures delayed recovery, and services were hit particularly hard again.

Towards the end of May, according to the Federal Bank of Germany (Bundesbank), the supply shortage was a drag on the industry, which had initially experienced strong expansion.

This also pushed up prices for the industrial producer.

Industrial production

Thus, the world economy continued to recover in the first quarter, albeit at a clearly reduced rate.

In the euro area, Gross Domestic Product (GDP) fell 0.6% from an already weak previous quarter.

At the same time, Japan and the United Kingdom experienced a sharp drop in activity.

By contrast, the economic recovery took off again in the United States, where many restrictions were already lifted during the course of the first quarter and broad stimulus packages gave the economy an additional boost.

In China, where the pandemic has been under control for quite some time, the economy continued to recover, while some other emerging market economies suffered the economic consequences of new waves of infections.

The industrial sector was one of the main reasons why the world economy remained on a path of expansion in the last quarter of 2020 and the first quarter of 2021, despite new waves of infections.

It benefited considerably from the changes in demand induced by the pandemic.

Since its drastic fall in the spring of last year, global industrial production had grown substantially, surpassing its pre-crisis level in December 2020.