If you were asked out of the blue, how much of what the US consumer spends, comes from China, which of these would you guess… 95%, 80%, or 65%? The answer will shock you..

If you guessed 95%, you were too high… If you guessed on the other hand, 65%, you were too… high…

The real amount was 2.7% and even out of that, 1.5% still went to the US…leaving only 1.2% spent on actual goods imported from China. Meaning, when you pay $70 for Nike sneakers, part of that money goes to Nike USA, part of that to Wal*mart USA, part of that to the US shipping company that delivered the product, part of that to US custom fees and taxes if applicable….

Shocked? If so, it is probably because everything in Wal*Mart, ToysRUs, Kmart, Kohls, Target, is tagged with the Made in China lable…


Because Wal-Mart’s $260 billion in U.S. revenue isn’t exactly reflective of America’s $14.5 trillion economy. Wal-Mart might sell a broad range of knickknacks, many of which are made in China, but the vast majority of what Americans spend their money on is not knickknacks.

Americans also spend far more on other things than we realize: Housing, Commodities (especially Food and Energy) and Services (Health Care, Financial, Accounting, Education etc.). Housel noted that in 2010, “Americans spent 34% of their income on housing, 13% on food, 11% on insurance and pensions, 7% on health care, and 2% on education. Those categories alone make up nearly 70% of total spending, and are comprised almost entirely of American-made goods and services.”

So when the Chinese start selling us our houses, our cars, our insurance and we start getting our health care needs from Tai Chi experts, that’s when we REALLY gotta start worrying…

For my geek friends, here is an interesting chart…….

US Imports divided per category: focus on China
Courtesy of the hard work done by Barry Ritholtz