Global arms spending hit $1.46 trillion
STOCKHOLM - World governments spent a record $1.46 trillion on upgrading their armed forces last year despite the economic downturn, with China climbing to second place behind top military spender the United States, a Swedish research group said yesterday.
Global military spending was 4 percent higher than in 2007 and up 45 percent from a decade ago, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, or SIPRI, said in its annual report.
"So far the global arms industry, booming from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and from spending increases by many developing countries, has shown few signs of suffering from the crisis," SIPRI said.
However, the report added that arms companies may face reduced demand if governments cut future military spending in response to rising budget deficits.
It also noted US arms purchases - by far the highest in the world - were expected to rise less rapidly under President Obama after sharp growth during the Bush administration.
US military spending increased nearly 10 percent in 2008 to $607 billion and accounted for about 42 percent of global arms spending, SIPRI said.
The United States was followed for the first time by China, which increased its military spending by 10 percent to an estimated $84.9 billion.