Negative industrial growth within a country’s economy is evidenced by decrements of that country’s GDP (gross domestic product) in a quarter of a determined year, expressed as a negative percentage change from the period before. Although this factor might frighten consumers and investors alike, there are situations when negative industrial growth is actually just a part of the business cycles characteristic of growing economies, just as periods of positive GDP growth can be seen during the toughest financial times within a country.
Generally, countries experiencing the largest decreases in industrial growth are in the developing world. Below, we have provided a guide highlighting the countries experiencing the absolute worst in industrial recessions around the world.
Libya's Suffering Climate and Industry
According to the Central Intelligence Agency, the country with the lowest industrial growth is Libya, with a decline of -32.3%. As we take a look into the economic history of Libya, we can see that even though the country has experienced world-leading industrial growth rates in the past, the recent global recession, declines in oil prices, and international sanctions applied to the country have left the Libyan economy increasingly unstable. In the face of recession, Libya has had to consider the diversification of its industries by investing not only in hydrocarbon industries and mining, but also into sectors manufacturing general consumables as well. Another major cause continuing to worsen Libya’s negative industrial growth is decreased investment in agriculture. Agriculture is considered to be the second largest sector of the country’s economy, but poor soil and climatic conditions are inhibiting the industry more than ever before. Another industrial sector targeted for development is tourism, which has went from boom to bust due to security issues arising from recent political instability and internal conflict.
Tuvalu's Insufficient Resources
The Polynesian island nation of Tuvalu was designated by the United Nations as being one of the least developed countries in the world, and ranks second among those countries with the lowest industrial growth. With its limited potential for development, it’s no wonder that Tuvalu’s industrial growth is negative (-26.1%). Unfortunately, the country lacks mineral resources and the main industries continue to be traditional fishing and farming. The tourism industry is underdeveloped as well, and job opportunities are low across the nation. Much of the income of Tuvalu is received from Tuvalu Trust Fund, an international trust that props up the country.
Tajikistan's Economic Obligations
Tajikistan, with a negative industrial growth rate of -15%, comes in third on our list of countries with negative industrial growth rates. The economy of the country is especially threatened by the continued depreciation of Tajikistani currency and failure by its business to pay remittances in their international trade dealings. This is a rough situation with regards to specific countries, as trade with Russia, China, and Kazakhstan alone made up 60% of the country’s imports in 2014. Nonetheless, the aluminum and agriculture industries have maintained positive growth, even as the service sector and international trade are expected to decline more still in the near future.
Ukraine's Continuing Conflict
Ukraine is experiencing a negative industrial growth rate of -13%. Although the country experienced a period of rapid growth between 2000 and 2008, the economy of the country suffered in the face of economic changes resultant from the ongoing war in Donbass combined with the world economic crisis. Further declines are expected in Ukraine in the near future. The main industries of the country are metallurgy, gas, petrochemical and chemical processing, and the manufacture of electronics and arms.
A Global Perspective
Other countries experiencing markedly low industrial growth rates are Timor-Leste (-12%), Guyana (-11.5%), Cyprus (-8.9%), and Gambia (-8.6%). The causes of negative industrial growth are many, from economic instability to poor resources availability. Although developing countries are among those affected most significantly, the fact remains that declines in production are an ever-present economic threat to the economies of all countries.