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China Now World's No. 5 Consumer Market

By Published on .

BEIJING (AdAgeChina.com) -- China has become the fifth-largest market for consumer spending, at $890 billion, following the U.S., Japan, the U.K. and Germany. The ratio of China's personal consumption to GDP is only 36%, half of the U.S. figure and two-thirds of the figures in Europe and Japan, indicating the market still has enormous growth potential.

China will become the third-largest consumer market worldwide after the U.S. and Japan by 2020, when consumer spending is expected to exceed $2.5 trillion, according to global consultancy McKinsey.

China will reach another milestone much sooner, however, when it surpasses Japan as the world's second-largest economy by early next year, as much as five years earlier than previously forecast. China's GDP will expand around 8% this year, while Japan remains in economic decline due to falling exports, the costs of an aging population and a growing national debt.

China became the world's largest exporter for the first time this year, slightly surpassing Germany in the first half of 2009.

Sources: Research and Markets, McKinsey, China Daily, New York Times

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