China spent more on construction in 2010 than any other country. Picture: Construction workers building the Feiyunjiang bridge in Zhejiang province over Chinese New Year. (File Photo/CFP)
During the period of the easy monetary policy of the Chinese government over the past two years, the prices of raw material and labor increased, as did the country's construction expenditure -- reaching US$1 trillion in 2010. By contrast, the construction market in the United States declined during the economic slowdown: investment in construction totaled only US$983 billion last year, lower than the US$1.5 trillion recorded in 2005.
Even as China surpassed Japan to become the world's second-largest economy last year, it also took the title of the world's largest construction market. More significantly, its share in the global market is expected to expand further.
The Global Construction 2020 report published March 3 predicted that China would account for one-fifth of the global construction industry by 2020, compared with the current 14%.
Graham Robinson, director of Global Construction Perspectives, said that the trend marks a turning point for the construction industry.
Last year, spending on housing construction accounted for 57% of China's total construction expenditure. However, with the Chinese government's recent attempts to prevent a housing bubble, growth in housing construction spending is expected to slow down over the next decade. However, there will be growth from spending on railroads, roads and power infrastructure.
In the next decade, global construction expenditure is expected to reach US$97.7 trillion. In addition to China, India will also invest significantly in construction and is expected to soon overtake Japan to become the third-largest construction market in the world.