The updated data from the United Nations on manufacturing output by country clearly shows the USA remains by far the largest manufacturer in the world. UN Data, in billions of current US dollars:
|Additional countries of interest – not the next largest|
The USA’s share of the manufacturing output of the countries that manufactured over $200 billion in 2007 (the 12 countries on the top of the chart above) in 1990 was 28%, 1995 28%, 2000 33%, 2005 30%, 2006 28%, 2007 27%. China’s share has grown from 4% in 1990, 1995 7%, 2000 11%, 2005 13%, 2006 15%, 2007 16%.
Total manufacturing output in the USA was up 76% in 2007 from the 1990 level. Japan, the second largest manufacturer in 1990, and third today, has increased output 15% (the lowest of the top 12, France is next lowest at 32%) while China is up an amazing 673% (Korea is next at an increase of 271%).
Since 2000 the USA has the second lowest increase in manufacturing output – up just 19% (Japan is worst with a decrease of 10%), the group of 12 is up 47% over that period. China is up 129%.
Total manufacturing output for some additional countries in 2007: Netherlands $94 billion, Thailand 85, South Africa 46, Singapore 38, Vietnam 15.
This data cannot be seen as perfectly accurate, but it is very interesting. Economic data (especially global data) has plenty of margin for error. And you will notice some of the figures for the same periods changes compared to posts from previous years – since it is based on current dollar value. Still it provides a useful view of global manufacturing activity, especially since there is so many misconceptions about the decline in USA manufacturing.
Post with updated data: Chart of Manufacturing Output by Country 1999-2011 (top 14 countries)