Times Have Changed: No More “China Produces and America Consumes”

Forbes: Helen H. Wang

When I started to write my book The Chinese Dream three years ago, people in the United States did not even believe there was a middle class in China. Today, China’s middle class is already larger than the entire population of the United States and is expected to reach 800 million in fifteen years.

If this prediction sounds too bullish, chances are it is not. In 2006, McKinsey predicted that the by 2025, the Chinese middle class would reach 612 million and China would become the third largest consumer market in the world after the U.S. and Japan.

These numbers are already outdated.  A recent Credit Suisse report predicts China’s consumer market will reach $16 trillion by 2020, overtaking the United States as the world’s largest consumer market in the world.

2020 is less than ten years from now. Whether or not China will become the world’s largest consumer economy remains to be seen. However, this much is clear: the Chinese middle class has already changed the dynamics of the world we live in. The world is no longer “China produces and the United States consumes.” U.S. exports to China are growing almost two times as fast as overall U.S. exports, supporting half a million jobs. Continue reading