Wednesday, February 16, 2005

China overtakes US


China has overtaken the US in the consumption of basic agricultural and industrial goods. With a booming economy and 1.3bn people, it is now the world's largest consumer of grain, meat, coal and steel, says the Earth Policy Institute.

China is well ahead of the US in the consumption of goods such as television sets, refrigerators and mobile phones, according to the Washington-based Earth Policy Institute. However, per capita consumption in China - the world's most populous country - remains far below that of the US.

According to the report:
- 64m tons of meat were consumed in China in 2004 compared to 38m tons in the US
- 258m tons of steel were used in China in 2003 compared to 104m in the US
- China's factories and homes burned 40% more coal than in the US
- The number of PCs in China is doubling every 28 months.

No wonder, the US is scared of China's growth.

The latest official figures for the Chinese economy, the sixth-largest in the world, show it is growing at an even faster rate than expected. It expanded by 9.5% in 2004, its highest rate for eight years.
Imagine, when the fast-paced development translates before long into high per capita consumption too!

(From the BBC)

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