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China reverting to form as the world’s workshop
By Peter Marsh
Published: August 11 2008 03:00
China is set to overtake the US next year as the world’s largest producer of manufactured goods, four years earlier than expected, as a result of the rapidly weakening US economy.
The great leap is revealed in forecasts for the Financial Times by Global Insight, a US economics consultancy. According to the estimates, next year China will account for 17 per cent of manufacturing value-added output of $11,783bn (£6,130bn) and the US will make 16 per cent.
In 2007, the US was still easily in the top slot and accounted for a fifth of the total. China was second with 13.2 per cent.
As recently as last year, Global Insight economists predicted that the US would retain the top position until 2013, but a large downward revision in likely output this year and next is expected to cause the US to slip more quickly than had been expected.