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Output of Major Industrial Products, 1978-2004
Industrial Products (in million tons) "Luxury" Products (in million units)

Source: National Bureau of Statistics of China (2005): China Statistical Yearbook 2005, Table 14-19

China's industrial output has mushroomed since 1978. The production of cement, for instance, increased almost 15-fold - from 65 million tons in 1978 to 970 million tons in 2004. The rolled steel production grew from 22 million tons to more than 297 million tons. Surprisingly, the domestic production of crude oil "only" increase only moderately - from 104 to 175 million tons.

While the Chinese production increase of industrial raw products is already impressive, we are even more surprised how fast China has been stepping up the production of consumer goods, such as color TVs, air-conditioners, household refrigerators or washing machines. In 1978, China produced just 3,800 color TVs; by 2004 they had stepped up production to more than 73 million units. The increase in the production of air-conditioners was also incredible: from a few hundred units in the late 1970s to some 66 million in 2004. While the production increase in household refrigerators and washing machines was somewhat slower, it was still impressive. These numbers clearly indicate that China has substantially improved her industrial and manufacturing capacity since the introduction of market mechanisms and the opening-up to the global economy.

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This data section was updated on 18 December 2011

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Copyright 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 by Gerhard K. Heilig. All rights reserved. - 18 April 2012