Wednesday, November 7, 2012
This chart shows cement production in China and around the rest of the world (data from the USGS). Cement is essentially the active agreement in concrete, combined in roughly fixed proportions with sand and gravel. Thus cement production is an approximate proxy for overall construction activity.
China is now making more than half the world's cement and production increased by a factor of 5 from 1994 to last year. There is evidence of a slowdown last year (though not as sharp as in 2008) and it will be interesting to see what the 2012 numbers show when they come out.
Here is the same thing as a line graph:
Cement production in the rest of the world peaked in 2008 and has declined slightly since the financial crisis. Nowhere else is going through a process anything like China.