From the Boston Globe of all places:
Americans make more “stuff” than any other nation on earth, and by a wide margin. According to the United Nations’ comprehensive database of international economic data, America’s manufacturing output in 2009 (expressed in constant 2005 dollars) was $2.15 trillion. That surpassed China’s output of $1.48 trillion by nearly 46 percent. China’s industries may be booming, but the United States still accounted for 20 percent of the world’s manufacturing output in 2009 “” only a hair below its 1990 share of 21 percent.
“The decline, demise, and death of America’s manufacturing sector has been greatly exaggerated,” says economist Mark Perry, a visiting scholar at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington. “America still makes a ton of stuff, and we make more of it now than ever before in history.” In fact, Americans manufactured more goods in 2009 than the Japanese, Germans, British, and Italians “” combined.
American manufacturing output hits a new high almost every year. US industries are powerhouses of production: Measured in constant dollars, America’s manufacturing output today is more than double what it was in the early 1970s.
HT: Greg Mankiw