Manufacturing Around the Globe: Where the U.S. Ranks

Americans have always thought of the U.S. as one of the predominant countries when it comes to world manufacturing. But those who have followed more recent manufacturing industry news have probably realized that China has a very impressive manufacturing system itself. In the current global industrial services market, where does U.S. manufacturing rank on the global manufacturing scene?

China Number One in Global Manufacturing, but Maybe Not for Long

A 2016 Deloitte study ranked nations on manufacturing competitiveness now and in the future based on the input of global CEOs. The winner in this Global Manufacturing Competitive Index, as it has been the prior two times the measure has been taken in three-year cycles, was China. However, the U.S. was not far behind, in the second spot. The full top ten went as follows:

1. China

2. U.S.

3. Germany

4. Japan

5. South Korea

6. United Kingdom

7. Republic of China (Taiwan)

8. Mexico

9. Canada

10. Singapore

What may be of more interest to fans of U.S. manufacturing, however, is that Deloitte and the Global Manufacturing Competitive Index predicts a shift in the next cycle — projecting a flip in 2020 with the United States taking the top spot from China and pushing them down in the second position. This prediction has Germany and Japan retaining their positions in 3rd and 4th, respectively, with India jumping from the 11th position to push South Korea down to 6th. Mexico is predicted to move up to 7th, and the U.K., Republic of China (Taiwan) and Canada round out the top ten.

But why the change?

Why U.S. Manufacturing Is on the Move

The U.S. has actually been steadily climbing the list for some time. It was fourth in the 2010 study and made the jump to second in only six years. Experts expect the U.S. continue to rise and establish manufacturing dominance due in large part to America’s high level of talent and investment in advanced technology in the manufacturing sector.

The U.S. is top ranked as an advanced manufacturing economy and near the top when it comes to GDP as a measurement of labor productivity, skill and technology contributions to manufacturing. America also is one of the world leaders when it comes to research and development.

The Future of Manufacturing

Moving forward, we can expect U.S. manufacturing to continue to dominate. North America and Asia are the primary regions to look at, led by the U.S. and China, respectively. The U.S. success should also translate to the rest of the region, with Mexico and Canada both securing spots in the top ten in the most recent study and predicted to continue to do so in the next go round.

Similarly, China is not the only Asian nation expected to flourish in manufacturing over the next few years. Japan, South Korea, India and the Republic of China (Taiwan) also showing manufacturing talent, innovation and growth.

Those invested in U.S. manufacturing should have very good news to look forward to in the coming years.

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