China has overtaken the United States to become the world’s largest manufacturer for the first time, according to a study.
Economic research firm HIS Global Insight found that the Asian country accounted for 19.8 per cent of global manufacturing last year worth $1.995 trillion, while the US made up 19.4 per cent for the US at $1.952 trillion.
However the States far outstrips China in worker productivity, with American manufacturing workers generating eight times the value per person than those from China.
“The US has a huge productivity advantage in that it produced only slightly less than China’s manufacturing output in 2010, but with 11.5 million workers compared to the 100 million employed in the same sector in China,” said Mark Killion, IHS’s head of world industry services.
The consultancy also pointed out that US companies’ plants and technologies drive a large part of China’s manufacturing industry.
Japan came in at a distant third with total manufacturing worth $1.027 trillion, while Germany was in fourth place at $618 billion.
China’s production and manufacturing sector has grown at a rapid rate, with a 20.2 per cent increase over 2008 to 2010 compared with just 1.8 per cent growth for the US.
India, in sixth place grew at 7.3 per cent and Japan at 4.25 per cent, while Germany and fifth-ranked South Korea both contracted.
IHS added that China’s manufacturing sector makes up a third of its total economy, the largest portion of output for any country.
The US sector makes up a 13 per cent share, while in other top-ranked countries it is 15-20 per cent.