Manufacturing Output, Top 8 Countries

Mais um da série “E depois dizem que os EUA vão mal!”!  Novamente, do blog do Prof. Mark Perry, de 05/02/2011 (!


Made in the USA


From Jeff Jacoby’s column in today’s Boston Globe “Made in the USA“:

“There’s just one problem with all the gloom and doom about American manufacturing. It’s wrong.

Americans make more “stuff’’ than any other nation on earth, and by a wide margin. According to the United Nations’ comprehensive database of international economic data, America’s manufacturing output in 2009 (expressed in constant 2005 dollars) was $2.15 trillion. That surpassed China’s output of $1.48 trillion by nearly 46 percent (see chart above). China’s industries may be booming, but the United States still accounted for 20 percent of the world’s manufacturing output in 2009 — only a hair below its 1990 share of 21 percent.

Perceptions also feed the gloom and doom. In its story on Americans’ economic anxiety, National Journal quotes a Florida teacher who says, “It seems like everything I pick up says ‘Made in China’ on it.’’ To someone shopping for toys, shoes, or sporting equipment, it often can seem that way. But that’s because Chinese factories tend to specialize in low-tech, labor-intensive goods — items that typically don’t require the more advanced and sophisticated manufacturing capabilities of modern American plants.
A vast amount of “stuff’’ is still made in the USA, albeit not the inexpensive consumer goods that fill the shelves in Target or Walgreens. American factories make fighter jets and air conditioners, automobiles and pharmaceuticals, industrial lathes and semiconductors. Not the sort of things on your weekly shopping list? Maybe not. But that doesn’t change economic reality. They may have “closed down the textile mill across the railroad tracks.’’ But America’s manufacturing glory is far from a thing of the past.”

Update: The chart above was prepared using the United Nations data on international GDP, including a breakout for manufacturing output, on an annual basis for most countries in the world from 1970-2009.  For most advanced countries, manufacturing data are provided for both: a) manufacturing, and b) total manufacturing including mining and utilities.  Total manufacturing would be a measure consistent with the Federal Reserve’s (and other countries’) measure of monthly “industrial production,” which is for total manufacturing output including mining and manufacturing.  For China, the only measure available from the UN is for total manufacturing, including mining and utilities.  Therefore, the only way to compare manufacturing output in China to the U.S. and other countries using the UN data is to use the measure of total manufacturing (including mining and utilities).


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