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China to be largest construction market by 2018
Updated: 2009-11-13 09:22

China will overtake the United States as the world's largest construction market by 2018, according to a forecast by Global Construction Perspectives and Oxford Economics on Thursday.

The report said, in just 10 years, China's already massive construction market will be worth almost $2.4 trillion and represent 19.1 percent of global construction output.

Speaking at the launch of the report "Global Construction 2020" in London, Mike Betts of Global Construction Perspectives said that China's construction industry looks unstoppable, "The construction market in China is already enormous at almost double the size of its nearest rival Japan. The United States has for some time held the top spot but despite its strong predicted growth over the next decade, China will become the world's largest construction market by 2018."

From 2009 to 2020, only Nigeria and India will enjoy higher growth rates than China in their construction output. Despite India's continued construction boom, China's market will still be between three and four times larger than India's at the end of the next decade.

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In the vast majority of the emerging markets, residential construction helps to drive high growth rates. In China housing will be the slowest growing sector but still the country will see its construction market more than double in size in just one decade.

The 10-year forecast indicates that emerging markets will rapidly overtake the construction output of their developed neighbors. The top ten highest growth markets in 2020 will be entirely composed of emerging markets with Poland the only European country to feature on the list. China is third.

The report highlights that today's global construction market is worth an estimated $7.5 trillion, representing 13.4 percent of global GDP. But by 2020, construction will be a $12.7 trillion global market, an overall growth of 70 percent in the next decade. Construction in 2020 will account for 14.6 percent of global GDP.

The infrastructure construction market in emerging markets will grow by a staggering 128 percent over the next decade to 2020, compared with just 18 percent over the same period in developed countries.

The largest construction market globally is residential accounting for 40 percent of the total global construction market by 2020 when it will be worth $5.1 trillion.

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