If China does become the world’s biggest manufacturer, it will be a return to the top slot for a nation which – according to economic historians – was the world’s leading country for goods production for more than 1,500 years up until the 1850s, when Britain took over for a brief spell, mainly due to the impetus of the industrial revolution.
The IHS figures are worked out on the basis of current-year output numbers, translated into dollars, with no adjustments for inflation. If the figures are calculated in inflation-adjusted, constant price terms, then I HS believes that the US will keep its top role in manufacturing for a little longer.
On an inflation-adjusted basis, which is based on a forecast that US inflation will be lower than that in China over the next few years, China is forecast to take over the number one position in manufacturing in 2013-14.
According to the IHS numbers, world manufacturing output last year came to $8,638bn (€6,979bn, £5,825bn) or 16.7 per cent of global gross domestic product.
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
FT.com / China - US manufacturing crown slips