Hit by the 911 terror attacks, the US economy which had already slowed down conhe passenger considerably, went to near totl halt. The Auropeans on the other hand emerged without a competitor. Germany amonst the Euro Zone countries took the lead in every thing. But anymore. China has emerged, and continues to dominate despite almost a decade of continuous growth beyond proportion. One would expect that if its prime client were poor now, its economy would take a hit, but it didn’t, china went after not only the traditionally rich countries, but also the emerging and poor ones alike. It just put Germany, the until leading economy n terms of growth, in the passenger seat.
Already the biggest auto market and steel maker, China edged past Germany in 2009 to become the top exporter, yet another sign of its rapid rise and the spread of economic power from West to East.
Total 2009 exports were more than $1.2 trillion, China’s customs agency said Sunday. That was ahead of the $1.17 trillion forecast for Germany by its foreign trade organization, BGA.
China’s new status is mostly symbolic but highlights its growing presence as an industrial power, major buyer of oil, iron ore and other commodities and, increasingly, as an investor and key voice in managing the global economy.
Its ability to unseat longtime export leader Germany reflects the ability of agile, low-cost Chinese manufacturers to keep selling abroad even as other exporters have been hammered by a slump in global demand.
China overtook Germany in 2007 as the third-largest economy and is expected to unseat Japan as No. 2 behind the United States as early as this year. Its trade boom has helped Beijing pile up the world’s biggest foreign currency reserves at more than $2 trillion.
The global crisis speeded China’s rise up the ranks as a $586 billion government stimulus kept its economy and consumption growing while the U.S. and other markets struggled with recession. Chinese economic growth rose to 8.9 percent in the third quarter of 2009 and the government is forecasting a full-year expansion of 8.3 percent.
On Friday, data released by an industry group showed China topped the slumping United States in auto sales in 2009 — a status industry analysts a few years ago did not expect it to achieve until as late as 2020.
Economists and Germany’s national chamber of commerce said earlier the country was likely to lose its longtime crown as top exporter.
China’s exports per person are still much lower than those of Germany, which has a much smaller population of 80 million people. China sells low-tech goods such as shoes, toys and furniture, while Germany exports machinery and other higher-value products. German commentators note their country supplies the factory equipment used by top Chinese manufacturers.
With 1.3 billion people, China is still one of the world’s poorest countries. It ranked 130th among economies in per capita income in 2008, according to the World Bank.